The strategy will enable Yahoo Inc. to distribute ads in other mobile apps besides its own. Besides that, Yahoo also is trying to plant its search engine inside other apps so it can display ads alongside the results. Although the technology is free, Yahoo would keep 40 percent of all ad sales made in other apps.

Yahoo announced the expansion Thursday at its first conference for the makers of mobile applications.

Mayer described the extension of Yahoo’s mobile platform as a ”fork point” in her effort to make the Internet company an even bigger player on smartphones and tablets. ”Yahoo really fell behind the times in the evolution of mobile,” she told reporters and analysts.

“I feel like we have really caught up now,” she said.

The company generated $768 million in mobile revenue last year. That amount lags far behind mobile ad leaders Google and Facebook, both of whom already run wide-reaching mobile ad networks that deliver promotions to other digital services besides their own.