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Since Marissa Mayer was hired as CEO of Yahoo in July 2012, her one statement mission was simple, but complex: make Yahoo relevant again. Once the Google of the original internet boom, it was the by product of what Clayton Christensen would call “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, and up-ended by said Google.
All is not lost – Yahoo still claims 800 active users per month in a diverse pool ranging from email to fantasy sports. That same diversity is its biggest marketing strength. The purchase of Tumblr confused many, as Tumblr was young and hip, and Yahoo, frankly old. But Mayer unveiled her vision of the Yahoo future at January’s CES in Las Vegas. It can be summed up in one word: news. And news is content. Is there a future for marketers on this platform? Or rather, how can marketers take advantage of the new Yahoo?
Yahoo News Digest: Yahoo bought the news summary app Summly for $30 million last year. The Yahoo News Digest will use a similar platform to bring computer generated, human curated content two times a day.
Yahoo Magazines: Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr made many wonder what it had in store for one of the coolest content platforms in social media. Yahoo Magazines may be the answer. Yahoo Magazines will replace Yahoo’s online news content, and news will be generated on Tumblr’s simple, scroll platform. This comes in addition to Tumblr CEO David Karp’s announce that all Tumblr adds will be powered by Yahoo.
Yahoo Mobile: According to Businessweek, Mayer wants to transform Yahoo into a “media company for the mobile age” with a focus on “personalized, habit-forming content” tailored towards tablets and cell phones.
Yahoo TV Network: Yahoo already has a Food and Finance section. And with streaming content on the rise, Yahoo has content creators and big names like Katie Couric in place. It’s still a long way from becoming Netflix, but that is the direction Mayer is headed.
The pieces are in place for Yahoo to rebound. It may never reach Google, or its previous heights, but that isn’t necessarily the goal. The plan is for Yahoo to develop a new brand based on content, specifically news. However the future of online content plays out, it does appear that Yahoo will play a significant role.