Why Yahoo is the Dark Horse of Mobile

Yahoo Center
Yahoo Center

You've probably heard that Yahoo's toast because it's nowhere in Mobile and Cloud, the two defining buzzwords in tech today.

What if I told you that's just not true?

Take a look at this data from comScore that the company shared exclusively with me today. The company's Mobile Metrix service took a look at what people are doing on mobile sites and in apps, and decided to find out which companies have the broadest reach. Their conclusion?

Google's on top, led by YouTube, which is pre-installed on practically every iOS and Android device. Google's penetration is 96 percent. Coming in second? Facebook, with 76 percent penetration. Facebook also gets bragging rights as the most addictive thing happening on mobile: comScore found people spend 25 percent of their mobile time on Facebook alone.

Then, in third place, with 63 percent penetration? Yahoo. It's nearly 20 points ahead of its nearest rival, Amazon. It's also ahead of Pandora, Wikimedia, ESPN, AOL and Rovio. Yes, Yahoo .

In one sense this isn't surprising: Yahoo is one of the three biggest networks of sites on the PC-based web, up there with Google and Facebook. But the conventional wisdom has been that Yahoo isn't nearly as relevant in mobile. After all, Google's got Android. Facebook has one of the most popular apps on every mobile platform. Amazonnow has the Kindle app for reading e-books, and the Amazon app for buying stuff. Yahoo? Yahoo's got ... news and finance. And Flickr.

Which is why Yahooprobably needs to act fast if it's going to capitalize on the mobile clout it has. But the headline here is that Yahoo — with its $18 billion market cap, $2 billion in cash and no debt — actually has mobile clout.