Editor's note: Today we've announced a slate of product updates that continue to open Yahoo! up to developers. Starting today, developers can use the Yahoo! Application Platform to build apps that can be added and viewed on the My Yahoo! canvas. Developers can also use a new Theme API on My Yahoo! to design and share creative background themes.
James Kittock, My Yahoo! product lead, answered some questions about why we're opening up My Yahoo! and how developers can now reach the largest audience of personalized start page users.
1. What is My Yahoo!?
My Yahoo! is the leading personalized start page, with more than 20 million current monthly visitors in the U.S. and over 40 million worldwide. My Yahoo! users are highly engaged and passionate about finding great content and services on the Web. My Yahoo! is their dashboard for keeping up with all this information.
2. What are you opening up to developers today?
Were giving developers the ability to create applications for My Yahoo! using the Yahoo! Application Platform. We are also giving developers the ability to create page themes (with background colors and images) through the My Yahoo! Theme API.
3. What can my application do on My Yahoo?
When you build an app using the Yahoo! Application Platform, you can create a small view that is embedded in a users My Yahoo! page. The small view serves as a user's personal "dashboard" into what is going on with the app. As an example, consider a fantasy sports application. The small view is where users get updates on trade requests, breaking information about their players, etc. The small view has one or more links to the canvas view, where users interact most with the application: executing trades, reviewing player statistics, and so forth.
4. What are the key advantages of building applications on My Yahoo!?
As a developer for My Yahoo!, you now have access to our highly engaged audience of users who visit their My Yahoo! page multiple times each week. The small view on My Yahoo! provides rich interactivity between users and applications and will drive users to the large view of the app.
5. Are you opening up My Yahoo! to all developers?
Yes. Any developer can create an app with a small view. Any user can take that app and add the small view to their My Yahoo! page.
6. How do I get started developing my app for My Yahoo!?
Go to the YDN dashboard to start building your first new Open Application on My Yahoo!. Docs and design guidelines are all available on the My Yahoo! landing page.
7. How will My Yahoo! users discover and share my application?
With more than 500 million Yahoo! users around the world, we have an extensive and growing social graph that will enable viral adoption. People will share apps they've discovered and added with their connections via updates. Applications that use the Yahoo! Social APIs generate updates that will show up in the new Yahoo! Toolbar, Yahoo! Mail, and a growing list of places across Yahoo!. You can also create your own Add to My Yahoo! buttons for your app and publish them anywhere on your site, blog, etc. The My Yahoo! content gallery will feature select YAP apps in a new category called Open Apps go to My Yahoo! and click on Add Content to see this in action.
8. What makes an application compelling for My Yahoo! users? What types of apps are people looking for?
People want apps that help them increase productivity and save time by providing an at-a-glance view of everything they care about on one page. We think people will love applications that add social elements to their My Yahoo! experience. To help you get started, we wrote some guidelines for building apps on My Yahoo!.
9. What applications are you launching on My Yahoo! today?
We're showcasing some great apps from developers at Flixster, Labpixies, Mytopia, Playfish, RockYou, Zynga, and Watercooler. Theyre a mix of fun, casual, and productivity apps. Theyre all live on the site now, so you can check them out.
10. Do apps on My Yahoo! support the OpenSocial spec?
11. I heard that youre going to open up other parts of Yahoo!. Is this true?
Absolutely. Today we also announced that were opening up Yahoo! Mail through our next-generation smarter inbox. By allowing open applications right in your inbox, Yahoo! Mail is opening up to all kinds of communications tools from outside of the Yahoo! network. Well open up more Yahoo! canvases to developers throughout 2009.