Yahoo is moving into contextual-based advertising across its mobile homepage for the first time, as it launches Yahoo Mobile in eight markets worldwide that will include a new homepage browser and an application for the Apple iPhone.

The homepage will be available on more than 300 handsets across the UK, Germany, France, US, Canada, India, Indonesia and the Philippines (though yet to be announced in Australia).

The new browser and application will include targeted advertising, such as banner ads, across content such as news.

The site will continue to include its search function, but will now allow consumers to customise the rest of the homepage by adding bookmarks, RSS feeds or news from other websites, based on their individual interests.

Advertisers also have the opportunity to sponsor or affiliate themselves with stories or content based on consumers’ personalised updates.

Yahoo Mobile has been busy aligning itself with nine social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and Bebo, by allowing consumers to simultaneously access their social networking page through the consolidated Yahoo Mobile portal, which will also feature email, instant messaging and address books.

“The homepage will initially launch with current advertisers including O2, Nokia and NatWest, but the company is in talks with sponsors, with the potential for creating homepage takeovers,” says Charles Sword, head of mobile advertising at Yahoo.