In another move to shore up its image, Yahoo announced today that it will hold a conference for mobile app developers on Feb. 19, 2015, in San Francisco. The conference, which will be free to attend, will feature the unveiling of a new suite of developer tools along with talks by app developers. The show will be focused on iOS and Android development, with a “State of Mobile” keynote address by Simon Khalaf, Yahoo’s Vice President of Flurry Products, headlining the event.
When she landed at Yahoo as CEO in July 2012, Marissa Mayer had said she found mobile to be everyone’s hobby and no one’s job. Ergo, she’s been working to change that, on her mission to turn an overlooked legacy web property into a “digital daily habit” fit for a mobile obsessed era — promoting Adam Cahan to head up the division, ramping up on app devs (including acquihiring a flotilla of startups) and turning out some polished own-brand apps. Next on the agenda — for early 2015 — a mobile developer conference, leveraging the intel of mobile analytics firm Flurry, which Yahoo picked up in July. It’s not hard to see why Mayer wanted Flurry: the firm provides the data-based substance to draw a wider community of mobile devs into orbit around the Yahoo brand. Or that’s the hope. Yahoo losing out in the interest stakes to shinier tech brands continues to be Mayer’s sweating toil — and explains why she’s been on such a startup buying spree, as a strategy to suck some tech talent away from Google, Facebook, Twitter et al. (The latter held the first of its new annual mobile dev conferences in October.)