Yahoo!'s very anticipated launch of Panama was moved up and actually rolled out yesterday. Most industry experts thought this would not roll out until early 2007, but at their third quarter financial meeting, Yahoo's CEO Terry Semel announced that the program would be launched immediately, with invites to try the new system being sent out this week.
A few in the industry got to go out to Sunny Valley and take a test drive of Panama:
- SEW - Yahoo Release "Panama" Search Advertising System Early
- Traffick: Not Turning Back: Panama Goes Live (Andrew promise more to come)
- WPN: Yahoo! Finally Launches Project Panama
- SE Roundtable: Yahoo! Announced Panama Launch
A search on Technorati is already showing a lot of buzz about the launch. There will likely be more to come as the Wall Street financial analysts start reporting on it as well.
The migration into Panama will be voluntary at first, until the end of 2006. That's a pretty smart move on Yahoo!'s part. Forcing advertisers to adopt this right now, at the beginning of the all important 4th quarter marketing season would create pure havoc. This way advertisers can work with if they want to and have the time, but if they don't after Christmas they can dig deep into the new system.
If you aren't up for holding off and waiting to use Panama - fill out the form to get the invite to become an early adopter.
Hopefully this will be some much needed good news for Yahoo!, they've really taken a beaten the last few weeks on all fronts. In the mean time, take a look at the Yahoo! schwag Barry Schwartz got ..... wow!