Why ‘Mobile First’ is Paying Off For Yahoo

Why 'Mobile First' is Paying Off for YahooIt’s a number you may have missed but shouldn’t forget from this week’s Yahoo earnings report.

Yahoo now accommodates 340 million mobile users on a monthly basis. That’s up from just 300 million in April. And it’s well above the 200 million mobile visitors observed at the end of 2012.

As a result, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is understandably excited about Yahoo’s growing – and thriving – mobile audience.

“I grade our progress in mobile as an ‘A’ over the past year,” Mayer said this week. “Back in October, I noted that our No. 1 priority was a cohesive mobile strategy. At that time, the company was severely underinvested in mobile delivering fragmented and unfocused products. Given the growth of phones and tablets, we needed to have a winning strategy and great execution. We invested heavily and we are seeing incredible growth as a result… Mobile is a strong growth driver, and with the right mobile ad units, we believe that mobile will be a large revenue driver. Yahoo’s future is mobile and we are delivering our products mobile-first.”

In recent months, Yahoo has backed investments and acquisitions in everything from Summly and Jybe, to GhostBird Software and Qwiki. But the company’s commitment to mobile apps has been just as significant.

“Following our December mail launches we optimized Yahoo! Mail for mobile,” Mayer added. “And in Q2 we launched the Yahoo Mail app for tablets. This beautiful magazine-like reading experience has contributed to daily active users being up 120 percent across our mobile mail applications… We also launched our redesigned Yahoo app for iOS and Android complete with some integration. As a result of this launch we saw a 55 percent increase in daily active users and a 60 percent increase in time spent using the application.”

“Now that we are actually growing traffic across our network when you consider PC and mobile, we see the opportunity to run more ads,” Mayer concluded. “And so while that hasn’t translated to revenue growth yet, we think that it ultimately will and that will happen more in Q4.”