MANILA, DECEMBER 12, 2007 (STAR) By Alma Buelva - Majority of Filipinos are ushered daily to the Internet by Yahoo! and the company expects to continue doing so as more Filipinos go online at an average rate of 30 percent yearly.

Jojo Anonuevo, Yahoo! Southeast Asia senior director for business development, said Yahoo! has become a well-loved brand that touches 85 percent of the country’s Internet audience today.

“Through our various properties, we help users manage their life and connect them to what matters most. Services like our Front Page, messenger, mail, search, and mobile all fulfill that role, while properties like news, sports, and finance serve as anchors from those starting points,” said Anonuevo in an e-mail-based interview with NetWorks.

Yahoo! is also gaining traction among Philippine companies that have freely adopted some of Yahoo!’s solutions as business tools.

Anonuevo said Yahoo!’s social media offerings could provide small and medium-sized businesses with various platforms to interact with existing and potential customers and foster a steady stream of two-way communication with them.

“Yahoo! is really optimistic about our business opportunities in the Philippines…There is huge potential for us to share how the Internet is able to connect people to their passions, communities and world knowledge,” Anonuevo said.

For example, companies can use Yahoo! Answers to engage customers who are interested and have questions about their products and services, and Yahoo! Groups to share information about their products and services and get feedback from their customers, he said.

“We’ve even seen a company like the Philippine Coffee Board make use of Flickr, Yahoo!’s photo community service, to share photos and information about their company and its culture with external stakeholders,” Anonuevo said.

Furthermore, with all the rage around Web 2.0 tools, Yahoo!’s open APIs (application programming interfaces) could help companies leverage on the Yahoo! infrastructure for their business.

“There are no limits to this ( and companies should check it out,” Anonuevo said.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! has existing business partnership with Globe Telecom and a charitable pursuit with the GILAS Foundation to help foster the local ecosystem of Internet users.

“Whether they’re part of the growing number of mobile users accessing the Web through Globe phones running Yahoo! Go or they’re the kids from schools that have been provided with PC and Internet access through the GILAS Foundation, these partnerships have enabled Yahoo! to be more connected to the Filipino community through initiatives such as PinoyConnect and local search content through OneSearch,” Anonuevo said.

Yahoo! also had a recent program with the University of Philippines that allowed its students to use Yahoo! APIs to create Web utilities.

“It’s critical for us to continue to invest and innovate so that we can power and delight these users and the next eight million coming online. This can be achieved by letting the community use Yahoo!’s decade’s worth of IT infrastructure via our open APIs to create applications that add value to our users,” he added.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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