You remember Yahoo, right? It’s the portal that made its debut around the same time as Hotmail. It had its moment in the spotlight then sort of faded into oblivion. Well, it’s trying desperately to get you to notice it, again. Or, should I say it’s trying to notice you. In an attempt to reclaim fame and remain afloat in a rapid moving internet society Yahoo is opting to personalize content for its users. This move is part of a larger trend toward custom content where users can avoid uninteresting fluff and be instantly met with the meat of things according to the user’s taste.
According to the New York Times, the Yahoo platform aims to draw from a user’s declared preferences, social media, search items and “other sources” (likely some form of spyware) and highlight the most relevant content for that particular user. This platform will be available on Yahoo’s website but will be accessible through tablets, Android and Apple devices as well as other smartphones.
Yahoo has been making great attempts to personalize content in hopes of generating a stream of users, new and old, that could potentially regenerate interest in the portal so that the revenue slips, layoffs and recent prominent departures may be overturned. In recent years Yahoo’s home page lets users add favorite links and apps and change the layout as it begins to attempt to deliver content based on user activity. The problem with this added convenience is that many internet users remained unaware of the sites additional features because the site remained unvisited by the user. In attempt to counter user visitation via web Yahoo is making great attempts at visibility on mobile devices.
Yahoo is privy to the fact that users are logging more hours on tablet devices and smartphones. According to Aggarwak Sandeep, a Caris & Company Analyst, “In our view, in the next three to five years, mobile activity will grow three to four times faster than PC-based internet activity.” Yahoo is eager for a piece of that action. In Yahoo’s last earnings call in late January, Yahoo’s chief executive, Carol A. Bartz told investors to brace for a new wave of mobile apps. The portal is interested in reaching users no matter device of operating system they’re on.
Yahoo is making great attempt to dispel the perception that the empire is slowing but surely declining. According to Mr. Sandeep “their metrics are deteriorating” and I can just imagine. When is the last time you visited Yahoo? It doesn’t strike me at the first place to stop for news, shopping, travel, entertainment or any other ventures they may have taken a stab at. I’m not sure how, not even sure when, really, but they’ve faded. Good news is Yahoo’s online properties still attract 600 million to 650 million unique visitors a month so at least someone’s checking in.
Maybe the changes implemented will strike a miracle. Maybe old users will return now that Yahoo has gone personal and new users will flock. Maybe when this personalization can be accessed via mobile device it’ll be even more incentive to check it out. Just maybe. Honestly, I can’t say I’m in the least bit moved by the efforts of Yahoo; glad to see them trying but, still, no cigar.