Yahoo drives portal plans with Associated Content buy

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Yahoo drives portal plans with Associated Content buy

Yahoo has acquired a startup called Associated Content to continue its drive to become the web's largest content portal.

Associated Content allows users to create content and get paid according to how much it is viewed. The content can be articles, videos, images or audio, and can be on any topic the contributor chooses.

"Combining our world-class editorial team with Associated Content's makes this a game-changer," said Yahoo chief executive Carol Bartz.

"Together, we'll create more content around what we know our users care about, and open up new and creative avenues for advertisers to engage with consumers across our network."

Yahoo launched a US$100 million ($118 million) marketing campaign last year to tear itself away from its pure search engine image. The campaign, called 'It's You', focused on how Yahoo can help web users navigate the services and information they find online.

Yahoo hired nearly a dozen journalists in March this year, and set up a bureau in Washington to increase its original content.

AOL has been heading down a similar route to Yahoo, also rebranding last year and stepping up its investment in original web content.

Yahoo said that its search products will give it a competitive edge over other players in the market because it will have more insight into the topics that are important to advertisers and users. Yahoo will use Associated Content to create content around these areas.

The company will expand Associated Content globally from its current US centric platform, which analyst firm comScore says receives more than 16 million unique users per month.

Yahoo expects to complete the acquisition in the third quarter of 2010. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports estimate that the deal will cost US$100 million (A$118 million) .

The acquisition may come as a surprise to industry insiders speculating that Yahoo's next buy would be location-based social network Foursquare.

Yahoo's strategy so far, and one that is endorsed by Bartz, has been to partner with social networks rather than providing its own.

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