Yahoo’s $1bn R&D drive to lure consumers away from Google and Facebook

04/03/2014

Yahoo! invested $1bn during 2013 on product development to boost its media, news and entertainment offerings to serve advertisers and consumers better as it takes head on giants like Google, the company has revealed.

In a US SEC filing this week, it was revealed that the internet giant also bought 28 start-ups last year, as it looks to grab consumers' attention away from the likes of Google and Facebook, especially those using mobile handheld devices.

"Product development expenses for 2011, 2012, and 2013 totaled approximately $919 million, $886 million and $1 billion, respectively, which included stock-based compensation expense of $81 million, $74 million and $83 million, respectively," the firm said in the filing.

Yahoo! continually launches, improves and scales products and features to meet evolving user, advertiser and publisher needs. Most of the software products and features are developed internally by the employees, it added.

"Our engineering and production teams are primarily located in our Sunnyvale, California, headquarters, Bangalore, India and Beijing, China," the firm said in a the filing.

Yahoo!, which is increasingly seeing a major chunk of its users base going mobile, aims to make compelling ads and integrate them with news and information.

Reiterating its strategy of "building products focusing on mobile first", the firm further said: "Today we have over 400 million monthly mobile users, an increase of more than 150 million users since we launched our new Mobile and Emerging Products team in October 2012".

Today, mobile traffic represents more than half of its 800 million monthly users (the numbers do not include Internet Message Access Protocol or Tumblr users), it added.

Yahoo! said increasing mobile traffic has been the result of an "engaging and inspiring suite of new and revamped product experiences designed to make users' daily habits mobile."

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