The act of creating necessary services, ideas and content through soliciting contributions from a large and unspecified group of people is called crowdsourcing: a portmanteau of the words “crowd” and “outsourcing” that was proposed by journalist Jeff Howe in 2006. In recent years, with the spread of the online community, services in a variety of fields that enlist the help of an undefined public are drawing attention.

Yahoo! JAPAN also started its own crowdsourcing service, Yahoo! Crowdsourcing, in January 2013. It allows companies with problems, or “tasks,” to solve them with the help of Yahoo! JAPAN users, who can obtain T Points as a reward for their assistance. So far we have acquired over 200,000 registered users, and in less than a year since Yahoo! Crowdsourcing started it has become the largest crowdsourcing service in Japan.

Crowdsourcing is a new area of research that spans many fields, including education, economics, psychology, and computer science, because it exists at the point where the crowd and machines, and work and leisure intersect. We will work to connect the results of our research in this area to solutions to society’s issues by evolving crowdsourcing into an easy to use, more advanced division of labor system through investigating and testing for new tasks that crowdsourcing can solve.

Yahoo! JAPAN will make use of the results of this research in proposals to its clients and service improvements.

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