At today’s Baidu World 2011 annual conference, Robin Li, founder and CEO of the China’s largest search engine, announced that the internet powerhouse is releasing a revamped homepage with customization feature that let users personalize their Baidu homepage by adding in several new modules including “Bookmarks”, “Apps”, “Feeds”, “Search Trends”.
The new homepage is a direct reflection of the trends towards personalization and customization. At the current stage only logged-in users can have a sneak preview of the customized page. Under the “Bookmarks” section, user can add their most-visited websites, while for “Apps” section people can throw in apps curated by 3rd party developers through Baidu’s open platform, currently available apps includes “Douban FM”, “Microsoft Bing Dictionary”, “PPTV” and so on.
screenshot of revamped Baidu homepage
As of now, Baidu Data Open Platform claims a total of over 3500 partners while its Apps Open Platform now hosts more than 20,000 apps.
The new “Feeds” section works similarly to the “News Feed” on Facebook’s homepage, keeping you posted with friends’ updates on Baidu’s social networking services, for instance, Baidu Tieba (BBS-like) and Baidu Space (blog-like).
“Search Trends” shows the hit keywords that people searched on Baidu.
Negative Effects On Traffic
According to Robin, the new homepage would have negative effects on Baidu’s search traffic since some of the one-click-to-use modules save users the hassles of searching on Baidu. However, it seems to Robin is a good thing in a long-term view because “if users like the new homepage they will come back again and again which will make it up to the lost traffic. As for search related revenue, we will figure out something to sort it out for the time being.”
Robin said at the conference that:”The new Baidu homepage will serve as a fully open stage that shows any quality content, app and service to address diverse user needs in terms of personalization.”
Baidu Mobile OS On Its Way
The lucrative search giant which has also made enormous efforts in mobile forefront also released its own mobile platform Baidu Yi (百度易, means Baidu Easy in Chinese), combining Baidu cloud computer services, search box, Baidu Maps, Baidu Shenbian (LBS service), music service, ebook service and Baidu input method app.
Still, Baidu hasn’t said a word about its long-rumored mobile OS at the conference While although Baidu didn’t claim so, but Baidu Yi does function like a full-fledged mobile OS.
Baidu releasing Mobile Platform Baidu YI
Observers believe that Baidu Yi is based on Google’s Android OS though Baidu hasn’t confirmed so. Since Google hasn’t make many on Android yet, how will its Chinese counterpart progress on the same problem? According to Baidu, the company will make a profit from add-value service and share the revenue with mobile vendors.