Feature Article

April 23, 2013

Yahoo! Trimming Its Mobile Line-Up

It was a day of reckoning for Yahoo! services Friday, as the tech company shut down a few of its long-standing products: Deals, SMS and Yahooligians (AKA Yahoo! Kids). In the realm of Internet applications, this did not set off an end-of-the-world fervor as the notice of Google Reader’s demise did, but it is a signal that Yahoo! is taking seriously its move toward better products.

At the same time, the company announced improved Yahoo! mail apps for iPad and Android, plus a new Yahoo! Weather and an improved Yahoo! app for iPhone. The move to make better products comes on the heels of Marissa Mayer’s second sprint, which she announced in quarterly earnings report. Mayer, who came from 15 years at Google, echoes her predecessor’s belief that taking advantage of users’ data plans is the way to find prosperity for the company. 

The new moves are not likely hints at larger goals in and of themselves, however; one could almost say they were to be expected. Yet as standalone initiatives they are gems that attract new users and retain current ones. If user data is important, then it is even more important to maintain a strong user base. 

Mayer has stated that 300 million of its 700 million users interact with Yahoo! products through mobile devices. 

"This is where we get to inspire users and provide them with amazing features," Mayer said. "The first part is around talent and getting the engine fit... Now we can get a cadence and make continuous improvements and adjustments over time."

Speculation could lead anywhere, but for now Yahoo! is fast on its way to making itself relevant again in the mobile world. It is going to take a while for Yahoo! to reach a position where it can make bold moves like its own brand of software, however, or to be a threat in hardware arenas. But if the products coming out today are any indication, the company has a good road ahead of them.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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