Yahoo to increase investment in new Arabic products

08 Jun 2011

(MENAFN) Yahoo global chief executive Carol Bartz announced Tuesday that Yahoo plans to increase investment in the Middle East and North Africa to capitalize on a huge potential for growth in the region, reported The National.

Bartz said that 70 million people in the MENA region are online, and 50 million more are expected by 2014. The number of users of Yahoo Maktoob has increased by 60 percent to about 50 million in the past year and a half. It is now the third-most popular Yahoo home page in the world.

This increase in users is contributing to a 25 to 30 percent yearly increase in online spending. Companies in the MENA region only spend 2 percent of their total advertising budget online in contrast to 10 percent in the US and 25 percent in the UK, added the CEO.

On Tuesday, Bartz said the company would launch a website similar to Yahoo Maktoob for mobile phones. The site would gather regionally focused Arabic and English language news, entertainment, and sports focused articles and videos. An iPad application is also in the works.

Bartz said that the uprisings in the region drastically increased Yahoo’s profile in the region. 3 million additional users came to Yahoo’s news site in Egypt between January and March.

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