Just An Online Minute... The Four Pillars
He wakes up every two hours crying.
Yup. The chief operating officer of Yahoo! says he doesn't know what will come next, and that nobody has all the answers on what the Web will look like five to 10 years from now, a year from now, or, heaven forbid, a month from now. So all of you who think that Yahoo! has all of the answers, think again. Trends, ideas, consumers' attitudes, technology, and media are all morphing so quickly that it's nearly impossible to predict the future of the Web.
And that's why Rosensweig and company, as well as all of you out there, must be nimble and more flexible than ever.
However, Rosensweig is sure about some things, which he shared in a talk before an Advertising Week audience at the Museum of Radio and Television on Tuesday. The talk, sponsored by Panasonic and part of the brand's "Ideas for Life" series presented during Ad Week, revealed the most lucid discussion of Yahoo!'s view of the Internet landscape that we have heard to date.
Here are a few morsels:
Yahoo! has 379 million unique users. There are 6.5 billion people in the world and 1 billion people using the Internet. There are nearly two billion cell phones in the world, and 50 percent of people outside of the United States access the Web via a mobile phone or device.
Rosensweig says that 45 percent of all activity on the Internet is related to communications -- that's e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, etc. But the fastest-growing segment of time spent on the Web is in entertainment and media content, so it makes sense that Yahoo! and its competitors are focused on stocking the Web with engaging interactive content and as much video as you can shake a stick at.
Rosensweig also outlined a few trends that many of us have heard about before, but still bear repeating: Media companies are no longer in control of programming and content, consumers are. They are publishers and distributors of on-demand content. Content is pervasive. The shift from mass media to "my media" is well underway.
So how will Yahoo! continue to bring value to consumers? Rosensweig says the company is focused on what he dubbed the "4 Pillars." They are:
Search: Tools for finding, organizing, displaying, and publishing relevant content, information, and images. These include mobile, video, desktop, TV search functions and more.
Content: Tools and resources for enabling consumers and businesses to find, create, use, watch, listen to, buy, enhance, manipulate, and share content. Basically, this is Yahoo!'s way of saying, "We want to help you do something with content -- anything you want."
Community: Functions and features to help people connect with one another via groups, instant messaging, and more. There are currently 100 million Yahoo! IM users, by the way. The feature "My Web" reveals what fellow community members read and enjoy. The community, in essence, becomes a filter for preferences, and helps us navigate our way through what Peter Weedfald, Samsung's head of marketing, calls the "ADD [attention deficit disorder] economy."
Personalization: Features like "My Yahoo!," which Rosensweig says 60 million people use globally, and "My Media," are about what he calls "discoverability." Personalization and customization features are what will ultimately help marketers build relevant and engaging messages. "We will know more about consumers, not less," through these types of features, Rosensweig says. In addition, automatic synchronization, which is the synchronizing of all devices across multiple platforms, will enable the steamlining of all information, including consumers' dislikes and likes.
Overall, Rosensweig is talking about having Yahoo! enable consumers to create and customize their own Web environments.
Sounds pretty cool.