I was quite skeptical if Marissa Mayer could bring Yahoo! back from the brink. But it appears that Mayer’s mobile and content — centric strategy is working for the company. Yahoo! seems to be at the beginning of a technological Renaissance.
At first, her acquisition spree didn’t make much sense to most of us. But let’s make no mistake: there’s a clear trend line here. Her acquisitions – Stamped and then Alike, Snip.It, Jybe, Summly, Astrid Grab and now Tumblr – the latest 1.1 billion addition have all bolstered Yahoo’s firepower in the mobile arms race. Yahoo! is becoming a one stop shop for mobile content. It seems to be building an interest graph — of what people are interested in, that Yahoo! can use to personalize their content. All of its acquisitions so far will help users define their interests and find information that manages them.
Another smart move was revamping Flickr — which for years was being leapfrogged by social sites like Facebook and Instagram. This massive Flickr makeover and Tumblr acquisition surely, puts a fresh paint on the Yahoo brand. I don’t believe myself saying this but “Mayer is getting it all right!” She definitely seems to have a plan and she is trying to find ways to implement that plan.
Clearly, all these moves are to bring back the beleaguered brand in the game. However, making Yahoo! a one stop shop is not enough. It further needs to improve its strategy and cross-integrate more services. A cross platform messaging application that enables users to interact with each other within the Yahoo! world itself can prove to be very beneficial. The company must also make its mobile sites much more user-friendly, especially for those with existing Yahoo! accounts. Yahoo! was the search leader long before there was Google and it should think about reinvigorating the search model that Google imitated. It should work out a partnership with Microsoft, where it regains its search, and works with Microsoft on co-branded search. Yahoo! should focus on mobile web in general at this time and should put its new app-centric initiative at the back burner. It should aim at reclaiming its status as the internet’s preeminent home page.
But we’ll all have to wait and watch whether Marrisa Mayer’s mobile moves be enough to lift the troubled company up by the bootstraps and return it to its former glory?