Business Technology

Friday 15 November 2019

Yahoo! to build on ties with Facebook and focus on perfecting mobile apps

Brian Womack and Peter Burrows

YAHOO! chief executive Marissa Mayer said she plans to focus on mobile applications and strengthening ties to Facebook to bolster turnaround efforts at the biggest US web portal.

"A lot of the strengths of Facebook are available to Yahoo! users," Ms Mayer said at an investor conference in San Francisco.

"That's something we want to build upon. We have a real commitment to bringing valuable content to our users."

Since Ms Mayer arrived as CEO last year, Yahoo! has ceded shares in its core business of display advertising.

This year, Yahoo!'s share of the US market will slip to 8pc, from 9.3pc in 2012, according to researcher EMarketer. Google will widen its lead to 18pc from 15pc last year, while Facebook will advance to 15pc from 14pc.

To court users and advertisers, Ms Mayer said she'll focus on "the dozen or so applications that people use all the time on their phone". That means slimming down from the 60 to 75 or so applications Yahoo! now offers, she said.

"How many people, at least once a day, mark an email as unread on their phone, just so they can go back later and read it on their PC?" Ms Mayer said.

"There's a clear opportunity for innovation. The tool just doesn't work that well right now. These are the types of things we're thinking about."

Turnaround efforts will target changes that can get users interacting more, and for longer periods of time, she said last month. In the same way that recent updates to the Flickr image- sharing service got users uploading 25pc more photos, and an overhaul of Yahoo! Mail resulted in a higher portion of ads being clicked, the company hopes to refresh sites such as Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! News, Ms Mayer said.

Enhancing social features is crucial to Yahoo!'s success, Ms Mayer said, as she reinforced her preference to partner with companies like Google, Apple and Facebook rather than build expensive new products.

Yahoo!'s shares advanced 1.5pc to $21.21 (€15.80) at yesterday's close in New York. The stock has gained 36pc since Ms Mayer was named CEO in July. compared with an 11pc percent gain for the S&P.

Irish Independent

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