Remember when all a technology company needed was a funny name, a quirky Super Bowl Ad, and suddenly BOOM! and IPO that was worth $$?? As it turned out, these things were not to last as the companies themselves required a little more than buzz and more along the lines of sound business fundamentals. A neat idea is nothing without execution.
So while news of the Facebook IPO continues to dominate technology consciousness, an event essentially acknowledged by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer, in a report from CNBC, the specter of what this means to pop-technology continues to be discussed. In Sandberg’s own words:
“If this is seen as an opportunity for jobs and for people to use their work to change the world that’s what we want to be a part of,”
This IPO event could certainly mean a proliferation of activity, with a public stake in the game, the economy of the application market could potentially accelerate, marketing ventures stand to accelerate, the ripple effects could mean jobs, innovation, and interesting news for some time to come. What could this mean to Yahoo, a company that is heavily reliant on click-based display advertising.
The undeniable explosion of social-based information sharing from sources like Facebook, Twitter, and so on dwarfs Yahoo’s news aggregation model in terms of relevance and attractiveness to advertisers. A takeover of Yahoo has long been discussed from the once rumored Microsoft takevoer, to the latest news of Google and Alibaba making moves. Oh and Microsoft’s name has been coming up in that rumor mill as well.
Meanwhile Yahoo, while still an attractive property in many respects, particularly based on the still-giant amount of traffic they receive, it is clear Yahoo is and has been in decline for some time. Just today, news came out about Yahoo killing some of their social apps. Here is a list of the apps they officially discontinued today:
- Yahoo! Meme (iPad and iPhone)
- Yahoo! Mim (iPad)
- Yahoo! Answers (Android)
- Yahoo! AppSpot (Android and iPhone)
- Yahoo! Deals (iPhone)
- Yahoo! Finance (BlackBerry)
- Yahoo! Movies (Android)
- Yahoo! News (Android)
- Yahoo! Shopping (iPhone)
- Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search (iPad and iPhone)
That could mean anything right? They could just be focusing on some newer, better stuff. Perhaps. But where’s the rival news? I’m looking for a YahooTV, or a Yahoo phone. It is nowhere to be found. Yahoo seems content to operate as an ad click business, or at least they can’t get any traction otherwise.
Yet despite numerous signs of difficulty and a loss of value, Yahoo drives on, determined to be independent. In a recent article on CNet, it was reported that Yahoo may be trying to sell off Asian assets to raise some cash and continue to fight off investors.
Despite the hiring of a new CEO earlier this year, it appears this ship has taken on quite a bit of water. The vertical that Yahoo competes in is dwindling in comparison to the viral and social nature of Facebook’s culture provides. Kristen Nicole’s breakdown of Facebook and Social Monetization lays the case for Facebook’s pervasiveness and compelling proposition. The company is driving innovation in monetization, technology, and marketing by providing their brand of platform, a brand that is known the world over and is now on the precipice of a potentially monumental event. Integration into XBOX, mobile phones, tablets, all those things – yeah they’re gonna happen, it has to happen.. ‘Like buttons’ are accessible in the middle of a TV show. The ability to gain followers from within a TV commercial. Edgy and addicting games that integrate into all facets of entertainment.. A favorite around here is the social content management provider, ThisMoment. Set at the intersection of all these things where marketing strategy is optimized among all these platforms, ThisMoment is primed for this wave of social integration we are about to experience and is set to grow.
All we hear from Yahoo are signs that it is in survival mode. Some talk here and there of innovation. I’m not trying to bash on them, but it is really difficult to perceive that they are able to attract the best and brightest minds to the game at this point. They appear to be in a managed decline. I project, no I actually hope that at some point Yahoo decides to put a smiley face on this before the value of the company as a major player is completely gone. So while the SuperBowl rolls this weekend, I will still keep my eyes and ears tuned for that dynamic technology offering (we know Apple will have an ad), that certain – WOW! What is that product with the funny name thing? But it probably won’t come because that era has passed us by.