It’s all go over at Yahoo:
1. Yahoo are considering selling off their internet services. Normally this would be crazy, but if you look at how badly Yahoo has managed their internet services, this does make a certain amount of sense. The source of this seems to be that a 1% shareholder has started making a fuss; Yahoo was originally trying to sell off a stake in Alibaba, and this shareholder said “no that’s crazy, sell everything else instead”. Based on this, it seems unlikely this will happen.
2. Marissa Mayer (CEO) is rumoured to be on shaky ground. She’s been there for four years now and achieved virtually nothing. She was heralded as silicon valley’s golden girl because she was an ex-Googler and had Gmail on her CV, which means unlike most of silicon valley she had actually done something. But Yahoo’s major products have faltered: Mail still struggles to provide a slick user interface, and Flickr has been largely eclipsed by Instagram and others.
They launched a mobile ‘messaging’ app called LiveText, which is focused on silent video calls; the only real explanation I can give for a company developing a silent video call app is that Yahoo HQ is in California and there are a lot of drugs over there. Yahoo has a history of releasing off the wall products, probably because they misunderstand the draw of competitors’ products. They once had a social network called Yahoo Mash whose major feature was that you could edit other people’s profiles! (please note: this was before Marissa Mayer was CEO).
3. They have relaunched Yahoo Instant Messenger. Actually, a more accurate description is that they have killed Messenger and replaced it with a product nobody wants, which also happens to be called Messenger. The Google Play app store has the Android app at an average rating of 4/5, but if you look through the pages of recent reviews, they are universally 1 star with people expressing bewilderment at where their favourite messaging program went. The main highlight is that they’ve nuked most people’s contact lists along with most features like being able to tell when your friends are online. According to Yahoo’s comments on the reviews, this is OK because you can send a message to anyone regardless of whether they are online! Likewise I can go to the shops even when they are closed, and I can stand outside and wait until they open. What a world we live in.
Another success by Marissa Mayer!