After arriving late to the mobile revolution spurred by the iPhone, Yahoo is making sure that doesn't happen again with the Apple Watch. That’s why the company Thursday announced that wearable developers can now use Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics service to track user behavior on their Apple Watch apps.
This is Yahoo’s second major move concerning the Apple Watch. The Sunnyvale, California, company also released four Apple Watch apps of its own -- Yahoo Weather, Yahoo Sports Fantasy, Yahoo News Digest and Yahoo News Hong Kong -- upon the release of the Apple device in April.
Yahoo missed a major opportunity by not making mobile as much of a priority as rivals Google and Facebook did, and that’s a big reason why the company has fallen as far as it has. When Yahoo hired Marissa Mayer to be its CEO in 2012, the company had just 50 people working on mobile, which is a tiny number for a major corporation working in tech. Since then, Mayer has expanded the team to 500, and it seems she is now focused on making sure Yahoo isn’t left behind if wearable devices end up taking off as well.
Developers who integrate Flurry into their Apple Watch apps will be able to track new users, active users and the actions users take, and to see how app usage on the Apple Watch compares to usage on the corresponding app on the iPhone. Flurry for the Apple Watch will be available to developers for free, as it is for mobile apps.
For Yahoo, the benefit of bringing Flurry to the Apple Watch is that it will give the company data on the usage of wearable devices. On mobile, Flurry is also used to deliver Yahoo ads to third-party apps, so it’s conceivable that Yahoo could later enable developers to use Flurry to integrate advertisements into their Apple Watch apps.
"The watch is shifting the way the industry thinks about app creation. Analytics are an important part of this journey,” said Brad Jones, director of product management at Flurry, in a statement. “This is uncharted territory for developers and advertisers alike, and understanding user behavior is crucial for success."