This morning Yahoo announced a new mobile application called “onePlace.” The application isn’t yet available but appears to be an elegant mobile bookmarking system that is highly customizable and features an RSS reader. It can accommodate any type of content: news feeds, web sites, videos, images, search queries. A shorthand way to think about it might be MyYahoo for mobile.
While bookmarks have faded somewhat in their importance on the desktop, notwithstanding the rise of social bookmarking, it’s a different story in mobile. The pain of searching on mobile devices means that personalization and “favorites” or bookmarks are absolutely essential. And once a user sets up onePlace, the incentive to use an alternative system will be significantly diminished. Indeed, onePlace aims to be a comprehensive mobile Internet content management tool.
Image credit: Reuters/Yahoo
I haven’t yet spoken to Yahoo about it, but it appears to be entirely separate from Yahoo Go. It also appears to be a broader and probably more versatile application. Yahoo Go generally contains Yahoo content (although it includes oneSearch), while onePlace extends to the entire Internet. Users can set up and organize content for onePlace on the desktop as well as on their mobile phones.
In all likelihood, Yahoo will ultimately serve search and display ads through onePlace. There’s a prominent search box at the top of the application, which will motivate use of Yahoo Search — if Yahoo is successful in getting people to download and fully utilize the capabilities of onePlace.
Postscript: If you want to watch the press conference with head of Yahoo Connected Life, Marco Boerries, you can find it here. In addition to onePlace, Yahoo is launching localized versions of Go in Europe at the end of March and new widgets (including third-party widgets) for Go.
There’s also a big vision here of PC-mobile integration. Yahoo is offering APIs for onePlace. If users link their desktop services and favorite sites (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, Google Reader, Delicious) to onePlace, those services and content sources will update automatically on onePlace on your mobile device.
Boerries also says that there will be integration of onePlace into Go, as well as being a stand-alone application or one that can be used through HTML/XHTML browsers on mobile devices.