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More casualties of Yahoo’s attempts to narrow the focus
Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo is a bit like the Borg from Star Trek – acquisitive, a little ruthless and always on the lookout for fresh talent to add to the collective. The pattern is pretty simple – buy startup, incorporate cool tech and smart people into existing Yahoo services and divisions, and discard everything else. Here are the latest additions to the scrap heap.
Xobni (pronounced, as far as I can tell, “ZOB-nee”) built some pretty in-depth email analysis tools during its seven-year run. Acquired by Yahoo last year, the announcement that Xobni’s services – most notably the Smartr inbox manager - would close down came last week.
Self-deleting mobile messaging service Blink got snapped up in May, announcing that the Android and iOS apps would stop working “in a few weeks.” So you’re back to Snapchat for that sort of thing, it seems.
It turns out that, in this day and age, there’s no real reason to have a separate people-stalking site when you can simply use your search engine of choice to accomplish the same end. People Search functionality is now integrated into the core Yahoo search anyway.
It further turns out that, in this day and age, nobody uses branded toolbars anymore, with the exception of persistent techno-phobes who may not realize that they’re essentially just adware at this point. If you really need this functionality, there’s a Chrome extension available.
Yahoo Contributor Network
Have you ever looked at the persistent virus that is content marketing and thought “me too?” Yahoo apparently did, at least briefly, dipping into the user-generated content market with the Contributor Network. It’s headed for the boneyard at the end of August, however.
As of last week, Yahoo’s other foray into user-generated content, Voices, was closed down. Yahoo Voices used to be Associated Content until a $100 million acquisition in 2010.
Finance research reports
Did you know that you can use Yahoo Finance to automatically generate research reports? No? Apparently, neither did anyone else, as the company reports shuttering the service due to a lack of interest.
Yahoo’s online women’s lifestyle magazine Shine will, unfortunately, shine no more, as the web giant announced that it would be pulling the plug as of the end of July. The idea, according to the official blog post, is to split Shine up into several small brands.