As part of an effort to reach out to developers, Yahoo has launched a series of Yahoo Yodel Meetups; including one taking place tonight in San Francisco where Yahoo engineers will discuss the intricacies of adding support for Apple Watch APIs.
The developers of the Fantasy and New Digest applications deployed by Yahoo will specifically discuss not only the challenges presented by the Apple Watch API, but also how they approach the unique User Interface requirements presented by a wristwatch.
In addition, Yahoo will be updating developers on how to apply the Flurry analytics software that Yahoo provides to developers to the Apple Watch devices.
Jarah Euston, vice president of analytics and marketing at Flurry from Yahoo, told ProgrammableWeb that Yahoo is making a renewed commitment to working with developers by exposing the expertise of its internal development teams to developers seeking to build applications that invoke Yahoo APIs.
Euston says there are already 650,000 mobile applications accessing Yahoo services. A large percentage of those applications are likely to be extended to the Apple Watch, says Euston. Obviously, Yahoo would like to see as many of those Apple Watch devices calling Yahoo APIs as possible, but Euston notes that extending mobile applications to the Apple Watch requires developers to pay a lot of attention to nuances because of both the amount of screen real estate on the watch and the fact that an Apple mobile device needs to be present for the watch to actually access an application.
For its part, Yahoo is also trying to promote adoption of the Yahoo Mobile Developer Suite, which includes not only Flurry but also Flurry Pulse for sharing data; Yahoo App Publishing to access the Yahoo Gemini advertising Platform; Yahoo App Marketing to promote usage of applications; and Yahoo Search.
The degree to which Yahoo can count on developers to help increase usage of its online services remains to be seen. In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the amount of online content that is being consumed through applications invoking APIs versus end users directly visiting a site over an HTTP connection. As a result, providers of online content are now locked in a battle for the hearts and minds of developers that are now perceived as critical drivers of future online traffic growth.
In the case of Yahoo, of course, that means recruiting thousands more developers to build applications in a way that makes sure external developers have just as much knowledge about how to invoke Yahoo as a platform as the company’s own internal developers.