Yahoo could open access to Flickr, other technologies

Yahoo might open access to a broader range of technologies beyond just search.

Yahoo might open access to a broader range of technologies beyond just search, a company executive said.

Earlier this year the company launched BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) program, that offered third parties its search infrastructure and algorithms to set up their own specialized search services. Similar models could potentially be tried with Yahoo's other technologies and products such as Flickr, its photo sharing service, and social networking, said Andrei Z. Broder, research fellow and vice president for computational advertising at Yahoo, on Thursday. He added that the list of which technologies Yahoo might open to others is speculative at the moment.

Yahoo hopes that opening its search technology to other companies will help attract startups with new ideas, Broder said. It wants to allow small companies to figure out better ways of doing something, without having to invest in search infrastructure and algorithms.

As the second player in the search market after Google, Yahoo has an interest in opening up the market, and letting a lot more ideas in, Broder added.

Earlier this year the company released the beta version of an API (application programming interface) that web sites can use to build the search services.

The "monetization platform" for this strategy is likely to be announced soon, and is more likely to be based on sharing of revenue for advertisements that Yahoo places on these sites, Broder said.

Some of Yahoo's technologies in the areas of information extraction will be made available to web sites participating in the BOSS program.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
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