Yahoo! once was a powerful search engine, one of the top three in the world. Probably if you would go out on the streets and ask people which are the largest search engines they will name Yahoo! and Bing as the biggest competitors for Google.
In search however Yahoo’s role has been diminished to almost nothing. Their market share can be handed to Bing which is powering their search engine. With the cut of 700 jobs in December Yahoo showed it needs a new objective.
I’ve before written (on Searchenginewatch) that Yahoo was suffering from a split personality. Are they “search” or are they not? I then stated that I believed they could be much more valuable as a content company with a social focus. They may have listened. By announcing the launch of a ‘digital newsstand’ called “Livestand” Yahoo might just have found the right objective.
The newsstand will be filled with personalized content based on the interest and activity of users. There will be a first focus for tablets (off course)
Blake Irving, executive vice president and chief product officer for Yahoo! is off course excited:
“Yahoo! will enable publishers and advertisers to seamlessly distribute content across tablets and mobile phones in an experience that is elegant and personalized to the individual.”
“Adoption of tablets and mobile phones is exploding, and digital media isn’t keeping up. Consumers can’t find the publications they buy off the newsstand, and publishers and advertisers can’t reach the audiences they want to serve,”
“As the premier digital media company, we’re in a position to meet all of these needs. Livestand is an immersive environment that provides a dynamic and personalized experience for consumers, and a pipeline of fresh and active content for publishers and advertisers.”
Livestand from Yahoo! is expected to be available to consumers as iPad and Android tablet applications in the first half of 2011, and as a scalable platform for publishers and advertisers. Mobile will follow shortly after.
The Livestand is a good idea for both publishers as consumers. Where consumers are more and more looking for personalized content, publishers are having a hard time catching up with that. This platform could very well be the answer to a lot of problems for these publisher.
It is the next step that had to be taken in publishing and Yahoo! is smart to jump into that. They can really take up the position as being the strong content distributer with that social touch.