Yahoo released its overdue LiveStand iPad app and publishing platform today during an event at its Sunnyvale headquarters. Included in the release are new ad formats that use tablet capabilities, as well as socially oriented ads that will appear within Yahoo News stories on all screens.
Yahoo did not disclose revenue shares with its first slate of publishers.
The new ad types include so-called "living ads," with interactive, video and motion-sensing capabilities; rich media ads, centered on animation; and image ads, most akin to a print ad. Among the launch advertisers are DreamWorks Pictures film "War Horse" and Toyota, which is using the Living Ads format on behalf of Prius.
Apart from the tablet formats, Yahoo also created a new ad format with branding integration. Called Social Sentiment Slider, the poll-like page element appears at the bottom of Yahoo News articles and lets users weigh in on a relevant question. Yahoo's launch sponsor for the feature is Jaguar, which is wrapping its brand around a bundle of luxury lifestyle-related articles.
At first glance, it may be hard for observers to decipher what exactly is social about this capability - other than the "share" button appearing immediately after a sentiment is gauged. Patrick Albano, Yahoo's VP of social, mobile and innovation, told ClickZ that for users leveraging Facebook's integration with Yahoo using the "facebar" feature, the social tie-ins will be more obvious.
He added, "This is our first generation of social ad products within our social platform. Look out for more examples and other placements in the page that have a similar approach."
Facebar is key to Yahoo's plans to ramp up page views in an age when social media recommendations are overtaking portals and human editors as the dominant form of content discovery. Using it, Yahoo users will see what pages their Facebook friends have recently viewed and what actions they've taken, and receive notifications regardless of where they are on the Yahoo network.
Executives say users that have enabled the integration are viewing dramatically more pages on average.
Also during the event, execs said LiveStand will usher in a new era of design commitment at Yahoo. Chief Product Officer Blake Irving said design is "something that's been left at the curb for a long time."
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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