Yahoo will add about 20 third-party applications to several of its sites so that people have fewer reasons to browse away to other places on the Web.
The announcement on Friday is consistent with a strategy that CEO Carol Bartz has been pushing: to make Yahoo a useful hub for people’s online activities and, that way, attract more users to its sites.
These applications and widgets, which will appear on Yahoo Mail, My Yahoo, Yahoo Connected TV and Zimbra, have been chosen to specifically add common functionality for tasks people do online every day.
For example, Yahoo is rolling out a PayPal application in Yahoo Mail, so that people can conduct online transactions from within that site’s interface. Yahoo Mail will also offer its users the option to install the Picnik photo sharing and editing application, as well as ZumoDrive, for e-mailing large files.
Yahoo is making these Mail applications available to a limited number of users during this beta, or test, period.
Meanwhile, the My Yahoo personalized home page site will offer integration with the Mint.com service for personal finance management, the Mokugift site for giving environmentally friendly gifts and WordPress, so that people can publish posts to their blog and moderate comments. These integrations were built on Yahoo’s application development platform.
The Yahoo Connected TV service, which works with devices from Samsung and LG Electronics, and soon from Sony and will get new widgets for searching and viewing YouTube videos, for finding information and clips from Showtime, and for participating in the eBay marketplace by getting updates and placing bids.
Finally, the Zimbra messaging and collaboration suite for organizations will also increase its collection of “zimlets,” lightweight applications that extend its functionality.