Yahoo PH vows better engagement with local users

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By Jonathan de Santos In 2013, Yahoo Philippines will go beyond presence and focus on engagement with Filipinos who have made the Internet giant ?part of their daily lives,? according to Arlene Amarante, Yahoo Philippines country ambassador and sales director. [caption id="attachment_8840" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Yahoo PH chief Arlene Amarante"][/caption] ?Did you know that the term ?YM? is a Filipino invention?? she asked reporters at a recent media lunch in Makati City. ?We had to get that copyrighted,? she added. Beyond the ubiquitous Yahoo Messenger, the Internet firm has been at ?the center of people?s online lives? she said, with users logging on to the site to check the news, finance tips, and the weather forecast. ?It?s now beyond presence, it?s about engagement,? she said, referring to Yahoo PH?s strategy of being ?a global company with a local soul.? That has meant tooling with content to make it more relevant to local users. Among the localized content is Yahoo She, the Philippine version of Yahoo Shine, which bills itself as the ultimate online resource for women. Yahoo PH has also brought Yahoo?s The Thread, a premium content website sponsored by P&G, to the Philippines. The website, Style Factor, offers videos as well as interviews with celebrities on beauty and fitness. Amarante said there is more branded content is in the pipeline, including a website that will be produced in partnership with a government agency. She said Yahoo PH content will give users ?more of what (they) need, and less of what (they) don?t.? The company will also drive engagement both online and offline, Amarante said, promising a bigger Yahoo OMG Awards ? the website?s user-driven entertainment awards show ? in 2013. The awards, attended by 13,000 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena in 2012, will bring ?more entertainment to the fans? this year, Amarante said, noting Filipino Internet users are very ?entertainment-centric.? Aside from paring down the 26 awards categories in favor of celebrity performances, the 2013 Yahoo OMG Awards will also make it easier for fans to get tickets, she said. ?This is about bringing entertainment to the fans,? she said. Yahoo PH is also looking at further engagement through its Techno Storm Expo, a virtual and on-site gadget fair held last year where users could check reviews of the latest gadgets and get tips from tech experts. Beyond entertainment, Yahoo PH has also launched socially relevant campaigns including Purple Thumb, its coverage on the upcoming 2013 elections. Yahoo Philippines will also continue to honor modern heroes in its Pitong Pinoy awards, Amarante said. The campaign, modeled after a campaign by Yahoo Singapore called The Singapore 9. According to a press kit distributed at the event, the award is ?Yahoo?s way of recognizing the remarkable work of Filipinos in the country and making it known all over the world through the Yahoo Philippines portal.? The winners are picked from nominations made by Yahoo users, with users also voting for a ?People?s Choice? awardee. The awards are meant to inspire Filipino netizens to be modern-day heroes too, Amarante said. Amarante said Yahoo PH is off to a ?promising start? in 2013, hinting they may have to expand their current office in Taguig to accommodate new hires. This, despite another Internet giant, Google, setting up an office in the Philippines in January. ?Google being here is going to be a welcome change,? she said, adding it will mean growth for the digital marketing sector. Besides, she said, ?we?re also now a partner of Google.? Earlier this month, Google and Yahoo entered a global, non-exclusive agreement to allow Google Ads in Yahoo properties. ]]>

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