Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
September 24, 2007 2:11 PM

Yahoo Go Redefines Mobile Browsing - Where Is The Buzz?

If you're not lucky enough to have an iPhone, odds are you've been struggling with your mobile browsing experience. I know that most people are shocked when I show them the interface and usability on applications like the Facebook mobile platform - especially considering that I am using a Blackberry 8800. You would think that the mobile Web experience would have come a long way since my days at Airborne Entertainment over a half-decade ago where I ran Marketing for Andy Nulman. It hasn't. With the exception of how far the iPhone has taken mobile browsing, the divide between it and the others is now visible and staggering... until now.

While Yahoo!'s mobile channel, Yahoo! Go is, by no means, comparable to the iPhone experience, it is leaps and bounds ahead of anything else. I started playing with Yahoo Go this weekend and have been sucked in to the many layers of customization and integration it has. While Yahoo! Go is still in beta, after a couple of minutes of customizing my feeds and checking out flickr on my mobile device, I began having the same feeling I got when hyperlinks were first introduced into a Web browser back in the day. It completely changed my mobile experience (like hyperlinks did for my Web experience) and made me wonder how we ever managed to find anything before.

The simple navigation and introduction of the Carosel seems to integrate a vast array of mobile widgets making the experience second-to-none. From GPS maps to RSS feeds to flickr pictures to the ability to search by just starting to type at any point. I've already started hearing rumours that the Yahoo! mobile search product, oneSearch, is quickly becoming a category killer in the Mobile Search space as Google seems to be putting its effort (at the present moment) elsewhere.

Yahoo! Go is an amazing experience and I was shocked by how few people - specifically Marketers (and those in Digital Marketing) - are talking about it. Has Yahoo! Go been overshadowed by the eight-hundred pound Gorilla that is the iPhone, or is it the fact that that even though the iPhone is new, everyone knows what the Mobile Web interface looks like and anything that is not like the iPhone is, simply, sub-par?

After only a few days of fiddling with Yahoo! Go, my Marketing brain thinks that Yahoo! needs to do a better job of getting the word out there. With what limited exposure I've had with Yahoo! Go, I feel that, like the iPhone, the experience of it is a game-changer and Yahoo! has an immediate opportunity to gain a serious foothold in the Mobile browser space. It's clear that search, widgets and a better usability experience are the only (albeit major) components missing to blowing that market wide open, and Yahoo! has just made some serious headway with Yahoo! Go.

Check it out for yourself here: Yahoo! Go.

(full disclosure: while I did appear in an advertisement for Yahoo! Canada this week, this is not where I heard about Yahoo! Go. It was, actually, my Brother who asked me if I had played with it).

By Mitch Joel

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  • Posted by Phil Barrett
    Mitch Joel

    The principle reason Yahoo! Go is not taking off is that it requries users to download an application to their phone...which 99% of all users will not bother to do. It takes too many steps.

    The mobile browsing market is starting to define itselft. I blogged about what the big online boys are doing here:
    http://www.burningthebacon.com/2007/09/02/mobile-browse-market-is-starting-to-define-itself/

    The path to a better mobile experience starts with creating a site that will actually work on all phones. W3C and dotmobi.mobi both offer the blueprint to do this.

    Facebook actually has a great mobile website - http://m.facebook.com - but if you don't know their "mobile" URL the experience will be just as bad

    The smart sites will auto-detect where you are coming from and serve you up the right site regardless of what URL you typed in. Google.mobi and google.com for example come up the same from your web browser

    For all the hype the i-phone has received on it's browser, it's actually highlighted the fact that even on the i-phone most sites SUCK. People are getting lost on their iphone trying to navigate around traditional web pages.

    There is a new book coming out called "building mobile websites for dummies" (or something like that). I'll be reviewing the book & interviewing the author (Michael O'Farrell) when it hits the streets

    Reply
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