"Online, circumstances and behavior of individual users can be tracked very granularly and on an individual user basis, allowing a previously unprecedented level and precision in targeting," explains the patent application.
The inventors say an emoticlip might "include a rich-media segment designed... to assist the communication of an emotional state or an emotional experience."
The technique uses one or more computers to obtain and store information about the emotional states with which advertisers may classify the consumer traversing the Web. A second set of information would store emoticlips made up of media segments designed to facilitate communication of an emotional state or an emotional experience. Each is associated with an emotional state. A third set of information would contain data related to a user with an emoticlip to target him with an online advertisement.
It's not clear if Yahoo has been using the technology described in the patent filing updated Sept. 15, 2011, originally filed in March 2010, but it demonstrates that true behavioral targeting may have just begun.