An Era of Applications, Sites Coming to an End
The company released its updated product report for 2015, which confirmed the closures of various products, regional sites and even support for older Apple devices. Yahoo intends to focus more on communication tools, content and its search business “ensuring our resources are spent smartly and with a clear purpose.”
Maps has been around for eight years – a long time in the Internet world – but it has failed to become a widely used navigation tool, unlike Google Maps.
Pipes, a tool that aggregates web content for developers, is another application that will shutter. First, it will transfer into read-only mode Aug. 30 and then close Sept. 30. GeoPlanet and PlaceSpotter are two APIs that will also become extinct soon.
Yahoo will cease supporting Mail for Apple’s built-in app operating on the iOS 5 or older versions of the operating system. This will take into effect Jun. 15. The reason for this move is so Yahoo can renew focus on functionality, security and speed for the service.
On the media front, Yahoo confirmed it is closing several regional and genre-specific media outlets: Yahoo Music in France and Canada (mid-June); Yahoo TV in Canada and some European countries (mid-June); Yahoo Entertainment in Singapore (end of July); and Yahoo Autos in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy (end of June).
Yahoo CEO Facing Significant Pressure
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, has come under substantial pressure from Starboard Value L.P. an activist investor that has been encouraging the company to find efficiencies. Stockholders have also been wary of Mayer’s effectiveness.
This led Yahoo to hire management consultant McKinsey late last year.
Yahoo has killed off about 60 products and services in the past two years. Under Mayer’s tenure, the company has reduced its global workforce by four percent in the past year.
“At Yahoo, we continue to focus on our key product pillars: search, communications and digital content,” wrote Chief Architect Amotz Maimon in the company blog post published yesterday. “Part of that focus includes taking a hard look at our existing products and services, and ensuring our resources are spent smartly and with a clear purpose. Ultimately, we want to provide you with the best products, platforms, and experiences possible.”
Marissa Mayer Performing Well Under Pressure
Yahoo has also made some significant strides in the last several months.
Mozilla announced in November that Yahoo would become the default search engine for its Firefox web browser. Yahoo replaced Google following a 10-year partnership. This move immediately paid off as Yahoo experienced a near two percent gain after just one month.
Yahoo will stream an NFL game in October for the entire world to see. This is a feature that would usually be seen on YouTube. On Oct. 25, Yahoo will broadcast the International Series game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills from London’s Wembley Stadium. Yahoo reportedly spent $20 million to secure the deal.
There had also been immense speculation of a merger deal with AOL. But that deal never came to fruition as AOL merged with Verizon.