Ranking Digital Rights Releases Second Corporate Accountability Index

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By Nicole Karlebach, Senior Legal Counsel, Business & Human Rights


Today, Ranking Digital Rights (RDR), a non-profit research initiative, released its second Corporate Accountability Index, evaluating the efforts of 22 top internet, mobile and telecommunications companies on publicly stated commitments to free expression and privacy.

RDR reviews companies based on publicly available information about commitments and policies that it has determined may affect users’ rights to freedom of expression and privacy. Since it launched in 2015, the Index has contributed to an ongoing discourse about intersection points between freedom of expression, privacy and transparency in the internet, communications and technology sectors, the role governments play in protecting those rights and how companies can realize and act on their responsibility for human rights.

This year Yahoo was again ranked among the strongest performers in the Index, as well as other companies in the Global Network Initiative, which works to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector. Yahoo is a founding member of the GNI.

We have appreciated the opportunity to engage with the RDR team since the inception of its Index. We will review RDR’s latest recommendations and we look forward to opportunities to continue to discuss the responsibilities that exist in our sector for privacy and free expression and the challenges that arise when governments, which have the primary obligation to protect the rights of their citizens, do not live up to widely recognized standards for human rights. We also continue to share information about how we work to protect and promote our users’ rights to free expression and privacy.

Coming to a City Near You: Yahoo’s NewFront

By Lisa Utzschneider, Chief Revenue Officer

This year, we’re bringing the show to you! In lieu of hosting one NewFront in New York City, our team is excited to launch a series of localized events across the country to discuss the massive and transformational growth of video advertising in more intimate settings with our agency and brand partners. Our consumers want choice and flawless access to exceptional video content across screens, so naturally we’re offering our advertisers the same. From high-quality video experiences across our News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle properties, to our native video and broader programmatic video solutions, we’re looking forward to sharing updates personalized for each advertiser’s objectives in a series of local events – because when it comes to video, it’s not a “one size fits all” solution.  

Last year, we doubled down on short form and live video programming across our key verticals, which dramatically increased audience engagement and delivered great wins for our advertisers. Driven by first of its kind live finance experiences, the appetite for balanced political coverage and a unique take on the sports experience, we saw an 85% lift in time spent watching video across our properties. This is a testament to the best-in-class content creation and curation that our users and advertisers expect from Yahoo.  

Here are some highlights to date:

  • Our Yahoo Finance audience spent nearly 13 million hours watching our three daily live shows (Market Movers, Midday Movers and The Final Round) in 2016. Viewers also flocked to signature events such as our first Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit (2.6 million live views and 12.2 million total views) and our exclusive live stream of the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders meeting which attracted one million live viewers, with an additional 17 million tuning in to the reshow. We’re excited to bring back this successful event on Saturday May 6, 2017!
  • Yahoo Sports is a top destination for sports fans to follow their favorite teams and play fantasy sports using our award-winning apps and offerings. For the past 11 seasons, millions of fans have tuned in to Yahoo’s Fantasy Football Live show for our expert commentary. Complementing this flagship program is Fearless Forecast, a quick-hitting video series that offers advice from our sports experts, which has increased views by 65% year over year. Additionally,  views of The Vertical’s NBA Trade Deadline show increased 25% year over year.
  • Yahoo News is the destination to discover and understand top stories that matter now. After an unconventional election season, we’re seeing unprecedented audiences for our video content. With an unbiased and trusted approach, our coverage of the elections garnered over 16.6 million video views and 65 million page views.
  • Yahoo Style & Beauty is a category leader that celebrates unique style with a mix of video programming covering celebrity trends and relatable tips. This content is attracting an important audience of 18-34 year olds, with unique visitors in this demographic up 200% in 2016.

Following a banner year of events, in 2017 we will provide access to more best-in-class live events and the most important stories for our audience, all in a visually compelling way. We’re excited to share our slate of programming and new concepts during personalized meetings with our top advertisers.  

More than ever, we’re helping brands engage the most powerful audiences online, with video offerings that can be tailored to their marketing objectives and buying preferences. In fact, video inventory across our properties increased 29% year over year and time spent viewing video ads on Yahoo increased 42%. What’s more, we have opened up new ways for advertisers to make programmatic video and native video advertising central to their strategies, and the response has been clear. Our BrightRoll DSP and Exchange drove an 89% increase in video revenue year over year, and native video revenue grew 91% year over year. We have continued to reimagine the mobile experience with an emphasis on native video ads and our Yahoo Tiles format that provides greater interactivity. We’re also building successful, data-driven brand campaigns that take full advantage of our video capabilities with Yahoo Storytellers, our full service content marketing studio. This year you will see a shift to more custom integrations and campaigns, going well beyond your standard video advertising packages.

We’re committed to helping our advertisers bring together content, data and technology to outperform their benchmarks and measure the full scope of their campaigns. When it comes to video, we see tremendous opportunity as we focus on exceptional content across our key verticals and continuously enhancing our ad offerings. With a series of smaller, more intimate events, we look forward to helping our advertisers capitalize on this growth.

Russian Hackers and Government Officers Indicted in Connection With Yahoo Security Incidents

By Chris Madsen, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Global Law Enforcement, Security & Safety

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of four defendants, two Russian intelligence officers and two state-sponsored hackers, for the theft of Yahoo user data in late 2014, as well as cookie forging to obtain access to user accounts on our network in 2015 and 2016. The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored. We are deeply grateful to the FBI for investigating these crimes and the DOJ for bringing charges against those responsible.

This morning’s announcement is consistent with our prior disclosures. On September 22, 2016, we disclosed our belief that a state-sponsored actor had stolen a copy of certain user account information for approximately 500 million user accounts in late 2014. On December 14, 2016, we provided details on the forging of cookies to gain access to certain user accounts without a password and we linked some of that activity to the same state-sponsored actor.

We appreciate the FBI’s diligent investigative work and the DOJ’s decisive action to bring to justice to those responsible for the crimes against Yahoo and its users. We’re committed to keeping our users and our platforms secure and will continue to engage with law enforcement to combat cybercrime.

Slam Dunk! Top Brands Score with Basketball Fans in New Campaigns on Yahoo Sports

By Lisa Utzschneider, Chief Revenue Officer

We’re thrilled to team up with top brands including Lexus and Pizza Hut for new campaigns to excite basketball fans around the annual Men’s College Basketball Tournament.

Lexus and Pizza Hut will connect with college hoops fans as sponsors of Yahoo Sports’ Tourney Pick'em. Additionally, advertisers will have a chance to connect with fans through custom integrations as well as high-impact display, native and video advertising.

For the second year in a row, Lexus will launch a custom branded game on Yahoo Sports around the 2017 Men’s College Basketball Tournament, “0-60 Bracket Challenge.” To get the most out of the games, fans can sign up now by visiting lexus0to60bracketchallenge.com for an opportunity to win a luxury vacation to Las Vegas for next year’s tournament. For each round, players select which matchup will reach a combined 60 points the fastest – a nod to the power and performance of the all-new Lexus LC luxury coupe.

Last year, the custom Lexus branded game and campaign on Yahoo drove more than 23 million video views and a 29% lift in consideration to make a purchase among consumers. With millions of sports fans turning to Yahoo Sports as the ultimate destination to create their brackets, brands have an opportunity to connect with this engaged audience during the Men’s College Basketball Tournament.

Emotional context could make digital ads 40% more effective, according to Yahoo research

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Reaching consumers when they’re in the right mood could increase the impact of digital advertising by as much as 40%, according to new research from Yahoo.

The Receptivity of Emotions study examined consumers’ emotional states and how receptive they are to advertising throughout the day, finding that US and UK consumers are ‘upbeat’ 46% of the time – the most common mood. Crucially, the research found that when these consumers are upbeat they are 24% more receptive to content in general, but 40% more likely to be receptive to digital advertising specifically.

Yahoo’s research represents one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted into the role that emotions play in consumers’ receptivity to advertising.

Based on a recognised emotional measurement framework, Yahoo gathered over 18,000 mood

data points during a week-long study of consumers in the US and UK, using a specially developed smartphone app. This was supported with additional insights from a dozen in-depth interviews and an online survey of over 4,000 people across the US, UK, Germany, and Canada.

Examining the success of different forms of marketing across these four countries, the Receptivity of Emotions research found that when consumers are upbeat, they are 30% more likely to engage with native video content than in other emotional states. They’re also 28% more likely to engage with content marketing, and 21% more likely to engage with direct marketing.

In fact, a consumer’s mood was found to have almost the same effect on their likelihood to engage with digital ads as what they are doing at the time, meaning emotional context is almost as important for digital marketing as current activity. While 71% of consumers in these four countries would click on or read digital ads if they better reflected what they were doing at the time, two thirds (67%) would do the same if they better reflected how they felt.

Nigel Clarkson, managing director, Yahoo UK says, “Digital marketers all appreciate the importance of reaching the right person, on the right device, at the right time. But the ‘right time’ should be about more than the webpage they’re viewing at that moment. We should be striving to take a consumer’s emotions into account as well.

“The idea of aiming to engage with consumers when they are feeling upbeat may seem obvious

at first, but never before have we been able to appreciate the extent of the impact it can have on a campaign’s success. Nor have we had concrete insight into when during the day this emotional state is most likely, and what types of marketing will benefit most. These new insights reinforce the importance of context in marketing, and take it to a whole new level.”

In the UK and US, the time of day when the most consumers are upbeat was found to be between 11am and 2pm, making these the optimal hours for digital advertising. The study also showed that these hours of the day coincide with when consumers are most likely to be managing their lives, finding answers or looking for inspiration.

The Receptivity of Emotions research is particularly encouraging for mobile marketers: Upbeat UK and US smartphone users are 15% more likely to immediately follow up on digital advertising on their smartphones than those in other emotional states. Upbeat users are also 25% more likely to say that digital advertising on smartphones provides them with inspiring prompts.

- ENDS -

Methodology:

The study used both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative research involved gathering over 18,000 data points from 600 people between the ages of 16 and 54 in the US and UK. Respondents used a custom-developed smartphone app to complete a week-long survey.

For the qualitative research 12 in-depth, two-hour interviews were conducted in New York and London and 4,000 people (1000 per market) were interviewed via a 15-minute survey across the UK, US, Germany and Canada.

Yahoo Heads to SXSW

It’s that time of year again, when people from all over the world descend on Austin for SXSW. We hope to see y’all out and about in Austin, but before you fill up on BBQ, make sure you swing by and check out the Yahoos who will be speaking this year.

We’ll be covering topics ranging from app accessibility and bots, to cyber security and women and diversity. We’re also proud to announce our very own Yahoo Music Editor, Lyndsey Parker, is being honored at the Monster Energy Women’s Ultra Mixer on Friday, March 17. And did we mention Tumblr CEO and Founder, David Karp, will be chatting all things activism?

Come find us in Austin – we’d love to say hello!

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  • Honoree at the Monster Energy Women’s Ultra Mixer
    • Lyndsey Parker, Managing Editor of Yahoo Music
    • Friday, March 17 (11:00am - 1:00pm)

Let’s make it another unforgettable year at SXSW. Can’t wait to see you there!

22 Years of Yahoo! Fireside Chat with CEO Marissa Mayer & Yahoo Co-founders Jerry Yang & David Filo

As we celebrate 22 years of Yahoo and look forward to our next chapter, we reflect on our early days, the rapid growth and innovation that followed, and the wide-reaching influence of the brand we’ve built. To honor and reflect on our rich history in the age of the internet and how far we’ve come, we’re pleased to share the following video segments from Tech Pulse, Yahoo’s annual conference for our tech community, featuring a fireside chat led by our CEO Marissa Mayer with our co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo.

Was it fate? Watch Jerry and David talk about how they first met.


There’s a story behind everything at Yahoo, from our distinctive purple to our unique company culture. Jerry and David share a few of their favorite Yahoo origin stories.


From humble beginnings to a global internet brand, Yahoo has undoubtedly shaped the digital world. Our founders remember when Yahoo began to reach users across all corners of the globe.


With decades of experience in the industry, Jerry and David look ahead and discuss the internet and technology trends they’re most excited about.


Thank you for an amazing 22 years! 

Do You Trust Your Gut, Your Heart or Your Brain? It’s Madness Time!

By Michael Lazarus, Yahoo Sports Product Manager

This Sunday, March 12, college basketball fans around the country can finally start obsessing over their brackets. After the selections are made, debates will begin over who will win it all and, even more fun than that, who will get upset. But before any of this can get underway, you must sign up for Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’em!

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Download the Yahoo Fantasy App: Create groups, invite friends, fill out a bracket and stay connected to tourney scores right from the Yahoo Fantasy app.
  • Sign up: Once you’ve downloaded, you can sign up for Tourney Pick’em anywhere at anytime between now and when games start on Thursday of next week. Don’t forget to enter for a chance at $25,000 by having the best bracket! See official rules here.
  • Tourney Bracket Live: On Sunday, March 12 at 7:30pm ET, tune into Yahoo Sports for our annual Tourney Bracket Live show with Nicole Zaloumis, Brad Evans, Stephen Bardo and Pat Forde who will break down all the matchups, Cinderellas and bracket busters.
  • Team Previews: After the brackets are set, visit Yahoo Sports where Brad Evans will break down all 68 teams and project how they’ll fare in the tournament.
  • Join Celebrity Groups: Play in the Celebrity Bracket Challenge against athletes Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks), Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers), Gabby Douglas (USA Gymnastics), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) and more for a chance at a number of fun prizes. For more details, click here.
  • Research & Prep: Research and preparation is essential. Stay up-to-date on all the latest info with Yahoo Sports The Dagger and experts Brad Evans, Pat Forde and Stephen Bardo. Brad’s Big Board is updated in real-time leading into Sunday, so check back to Yahoo Sports for constant updates and information on all 68 teams and matchups.
  • Accessibility: For the first time, users with a vision disability can use their favorite screen reader to complete their brackets using Yahoo Fantasy Sports Tourney Pick'em. For those using our iOS app, we’ve implemented Apple’s “magic-tap,” a single two-finger double-tap gesture that let’s you quickly find and follow your favorite team from round to round. Check out today’s accessibility Tumblr for more details.
  • Bracket advice and inspiration: Follow and tweet, @The_Heart, @The_Brain and @The_Guts for tips and hilarious commentary on everything Tourney.

With all of this madness, stay tuned to Yahoo Sports to check it all out and don’t forget to sign up for Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’em today!

Yahoo Commits to the BSR’s Colocation Buyers Principles

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By Brett Illers, Program Manager, Energy Efficiency & Sustainability

In an effort to continue to support advocacy issues around sustainability and the future of internet power, Yahoo is pleased to announce that we’ve joined other industry leaders in signing the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Colocation Buyers Principles.

As a signatory to these principles, Yahoo will work with our current and future colocated data center landlords to push for greater transparency around use, efficiency and renewable energy commitment within their facilities.

At Yahoo, we’re committed to “greening the internet,” and this is an important effort as part of our overall sustainability strategy. More information on BSR’s efforts can be found here.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

By Alison Sonderegger, Senior Engineering Manager and President of the Women in Tech Employee Resource Group

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration of the achievements of women in the cultural, political, social and economic arenas. In recent years, the focus has been on helping girls and women achieve parity between the genders. However, the World Economic Forum has since predicted that the current gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. Acknowledging that this is too long to wait, the request this year is to take bolder action and participate in change that is aggressively groundbreaking in order to facilitate greater transformation in the quest for gender parity.

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Yahoo will be celebrating IWD on March 8 with an activation on our homepage, a call out on our San Francisco billboard as well as tweets throughout the day from our corporate and Women In Tech Employee Resource Group accounts underscoring messages around this holiday. In recognition of employees who choose to participate in A Day Without A Woman, the Women In Tech ERG and the Office of Inclusive Diversity will host a series of internal activations celebrating women from diverse backgrounds across our company on March 9.

Each one of us – women, men and non-binary individuals – can join forces to help forge a more gender-inclusive world. We encourage you to #BeBoldForChange!

Introducing Similarity Search: A New Way to Search and Discover Photos on Flickr

By Xanthe Travlos, Head of Flickr

With billions of photos on Flickr, finding the ones you want – by searching based on tags and descriptions – only gets you so far. Today, we’re introducing similarity search, which uses advanced technology to allow you to discover visually similar photos without much work on your end. 

Here’s how it works: after your initial search, whether you’re looking for your favorite succulent or the perfect image of a ‘67 Mustang (not the horse), just click the “…” in the upper right of the photo you’re excited about. We’ll surface similar images for you.

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Want to find pictures of tabby cats? You can search for the keyword “cat” and filter by color, but you’ll likely have to scroll through pages and pages of images before manually picking out the photos that match what you’re looking for. Now, simply hover over an image of a cat and click the  “…” menu. From there, we’ll show you photos that look similar. No more guessing the search terms that would give you the most relevant results!
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Do an image search and give this new similarity tool a try! 

Our Newest Bot Makes Family Coordination A Breeze

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By Shani Clark, Senior Director, Product Management

We all know how busy life can get. It can be challenging to remember what we need at the grocery store or the schedule for the next soccer practice.

Now, available in the U.S., Captain is a bot assistant that helps manage lists and reminders for you and your family via text message. Gone are the days of interrupting your spouse’s workday with updated carpool information and fielding text messages from your kids about what they need from the store. And say goodbye to downloading apps to try and stay organized.

Captain streamlines family communications for sharing activities, setting reminders and updating a master shopping list. Text Captain to remind your partner to pick up the kids on Friday at 11am or add “paper towels and sugar” to the shopping list in real-time while they’re at the store. If you forget what’s on tap for the day, just ask Captain.  

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Using Captain is simple – nothing new to download, no passwords to remember – just text “Hi” to 773-786. Captain will text back setup instructions. Sprint customers will need to unblock shortened links to begin the process.


Give Captain a try and tell us what you think!

Get More Social With Answers Now

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By Amy Jie, Associate Program Product Manager

Since launching Answers Now in December, we’ve been thrilled by the response from the Q&A community. Within weeks of launch, thousands of you downloaded the app and posted thousands of questions – 90% of which have received multiple answers.

As we continue to iterate, our team has been hard at work building more social features to make it easier for you to interact. Check out the new features below:

  • Social Sharing: Easily share questions and answers to Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook pages. Also, share content from other mobile apps into Answers Now.
  • Question of the Day: Answers Now will feature one compelling question every day for the community to answer and comment on together.
  • Notification Controls: Customize notifications for each type of activity. Interested in being first on the scene for new questions? Just opt in!
  • Notification Stream: Icons will notify you when someone answers a question or if a question they are following gets answered.
  • Private Profiles: Make a profile private so others will only be able to see a username, picture, number of thanks and number of followers.
  • Updated Profile Stats: Profiles will now include the number of answers and questions, a list of followers and of people a user follows.
  • Announcements: Never miss a new feature! Learn about new updates to Answers Now in app instead of relying on app store downloads for updates.

We’re always interested in hearing how we can improve your experience. Download the app on iOS and Android, and keep sharing feedback through the “Send Feedback” option in the app.

Celebrating 22 Years of Yahoo!

By David Filo, Co-Founder & Chief Yahoo

Happy 22nd birthday, Yahoo!

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I’m filled with so much pride as I reflect back on 22 years of Yahoo. When we first started the company, Jerry and I could never have imagined that one day Yahoo would serve more than a billion users. From our humble beginnings on the campus of Stanford, to “Jerry & David’s Guide to the Worldwide Web,” to “Do you Yahoo?”, to our next chapter with Verizon, we’ve walked an incredible path. Every day I am excited to walk through these doors and work with such an incredibly talented team.

As we look to a new future, I recognize all that we’ve accomplished as a company and want to thank each and every one of our users and our Yahoos worldwide for your continued dedication and passion.

Yahooooooo!!!!

Yahoo And Tumblr Join Legal Fight For Transgender Rights In America

By Margenett Moore-Roberts, Global Head of Inclusive Diversity

Last week, Yahoo and Tumblr came out against a joint decision from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education to rescind critical legal guidance protecting transgender students in educational settings. Previous guidance required schools to allow transgender students to use sex-segregated facilities, like bathrooms and locker rooms, based on gender identity rather than biological sex.

Yahoo and Tumblr today join a number of other companies on an amicus brief in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, a case alleging that forbidding a male transgender student from using the boy’s restroom at his school constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex and therefore violates Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, which bars sex discrimination in education.

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This case isn’t only about bathroom access; it is about equal rights. Having built inclusive workplaces for transgender employees and their loved ones, we have a vested interest in the legal landscape in which our employees and their dependents live, work and go to school.

Yahoo and Tumblr have long expressed commitment to LGBTQ diversity and inclusion in our workforces and invest in the practice of inclusive diversity to ensure we are supporting and incorporating the broadest set of perspectives throughout our corporate community. We realize being inclusive is not only the right thing to do – it makes good business sense as well. We believe the perspective of the LGBTQ community enriches and strengthens our collective corporate perspective. We value these contributions and will continue to speak out against actions that jeopardize equal rights for the LGBTQ, and other underrepresented, communities.

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