I met briefly with Irv Henderson this morning as part of a Yahoo! breakfast associated with the Web 2.0 event in San Francisco. Henderson is VP of Product Development for Mobile and Local.
I was encouraged to hear his enthusiasm and some interesting ideas. For too long Yahoo! Local has just been languishing and I’m happy to see somebody taking ownership with some new creativity.
Henderson impressed me as a very thoughtful person and said that local is “an increasingly important area of search” for Yahoo! I neglected to ask him for a number (Google’s conservative estimate is 20%.) It’s also good to see Yahoo! connect mobile and local in a single individual. While these categories are distinct in many respects and the user experience and use cases are often different, there’s also huge overlap.
Henderson and I also spoke about how Yahoo! Answers, which just celebrated its billionth answer, is an underutilized asset. He gave me the impression we’d be seeing some interesting developments with that property.
Yahoo! also has more plans for the iPad, which were hinted at in an informal conversation with other mobile folks. And so I’m interested to see what appears in terms of new Yahoo! apps.
Yahoo! Mobile VP David Katz also informally told me that mobile advertising is going extremely well, although the company hasn’t put out any PR on that front in some time.