Yahoo To Adopt Mobile-First Strategy, BlackBerry No Longer A Focus Area Though!

by Gaurav Kheterpal on November 29, 2012

In July, Marissa Mayer, took over the reins as the new Yahoo CEO. Once the euphoria settled over the appointment of Mayer – the hiring of a “superstar” in the tech world, one thing was clear – she had her task cut out to turn around the fortunes of her new company which been losing ground to the likes of Facebook and other hot web destinations.

Last month, Yahoo made it clear – it would refocus its energy on technology. In attempting to reverse the trend and move Yahoo back to the front page, Mayer rifled through potential acquisitions that should theoretically boost company fortunes including the likes of PubMaticMillennial Media and start-up Caterva. She’s not been afraid of throwing money at ad technology systems guru Henrique de Castro (new chief operating officer) and Ken Goldman, while renewing a focus on advertising that her predecessors had given up on.

In her first-ever media interview since taking over as the Yahoo CEO, Mayer yesterday hinted that Yahoo would be shift its focus to mobile as part of her revitalization plan for the internet giant. The company would specifically focus on three key areas – news, sports and apps.

Mayer also reiterated her stand that BlackBerry will no longer be a part of the company’s mobile strategy as she does not consider RIM’s flagship devices to be smartphones. While that doesn’t augur well for RIM’s future, Mayer clearly needs to match her words with action as Yahoo’s current fortunes seem no better than the struggling Waterloo BlackBerry manufacturer.

Mayer reiterated that Yahoo needs to go back to its roots and focus its business on building “a global suite of products that are truly excellent.” The company does not plan to builds its own applications such as maps to compete with Google and Apple’s map applications. Instead, they will focus on “things people want on their smartphones”. She also mentioned that Yahoo is looking to hire more mobile engineers as she envisions one-half of the company’s technical work force will one day be working on mobile.

“We have a terrific set of assets on the web–all the things people want to do on their mobile phone,” Mayer said, according to Fortune. “The interesting thing is when you look at what people want to do on their phone, it’s mail, weather, check stock quotes and news. That’s Yahoo’s business. This is a huge opportunity for us because we have the content and all the information people want on their phones.”

The trouble though is that Yahoo has seen a steady decline in users, despite ranking among the top portals in the world with 700 million mobile users visiting a Yahoo site each month. With Facebook and Google ever-present, this is a trend that Yahoo is hoping to reverse. And if Mayer’s decisions pay off, the once dominant web portal could find itself back on top again in a big way.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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