Do you remember the time when you were first acquainted with Internet? I believe soon after that you were introduced to email. For signing up for an email account, you probably used Yahoo! Mail because that was one of the coolest free email services back then. But now it seems that very few people really use its services. This company was the one which dominated the Internet landscape for years. But now it is killed by its competitors, Google (with its search engine & Gmail), Facebook (with Instagram killing Flickr) & other companies. The reason for its death is their poor products and lots of advertising on their websites. Though it will be slightly inappropriate to say that it is dying but it is evident that it has not kept up with its competitors, mainly the Alphabet which has grown at a tremendous pace. It has still not died because it is still worth a healthy 34 billion USD. But sometimes I feel that even Marissa Meyer wouldn’t be able to help it from its eventual death. When we look at the graph of market capitalization of Yahoo!, we see a straight line parallel to X-Axis indicating that Yahoo! isn’t growing, whereas its competitors are growing at a break neck speed which means it is destined to die.
Here we take a comprehensive look at all the its products which are in decline: –
Yahoo! Answers was once probably the most visited Question and Answer websites till Quora and Reddit came into the picture. The answers on it are inappropriate, also there are personal abuses and open sarcasm on the site. On the other hand, Quora is a hundred times better because they monitor the answers very well. It is not uncommon for users to find people deliberately spreading rumors on it. Also it is a heavily monetized site whereas Quora has just started generating revenue through advertisements. So almost nobody today trust Yahoo! Answers and I personally for any question would prefer Quora over Yahoo! Answers. Though it has an advantage over Quora by being a product of a well-established company, the advantage is not helping Yahoo! to drag users to their site.This question on Quora probably addresses all these issues with it.
I would have to admit that Yahoo! Finance is still, according to me, one of the best financial portals and I also believe it is way better than Google Finance and at par with MSN Money. Comparing them, I would say that this is one of the sectors where Yahoo! is still very much alive. All of these three portals are delayed in stock quotes by about 15 minutes, so neither of them have such an advantage over the other. Interface wise, Yahoo! and Google show a very simple interface whereas MSN shows all the stock quotes and the related links in Microsoft’s typical theme. While showing quotes, all three of them show a graph but Yahoo! doesn’t have a very interactive graph, only an image whereas Google and MSN shows a very interactive chart, so easy to read. Yahoo! shows interactive graph only when you click a link which reads ‘interactive chart’. Coming back to the point(I know it is not the comparison between the three services), Yet it is still the most visited financial portals according to Investopedia, with about 70 million unique visitors and on the other hand Google Finance receives just 40 million unique visitors with MSN Money being in between the two in terms of ranking with 65 million unique visitors. Also CNN Money, a financial portal owned by a non-technology company receives over 50 million unique visitors. So Yahoo! you are alive in this sector, don’t worry.
Coming to Yahoo! Mail, which was once the most widely used email services on the internet. But now it seems that everybody have migrated to Gmail. One of the most disgusting things about Yahoo! Mail, in my opinion is the position of ads. It shows ads in the form of unread emails. Although Google also does the same thing it does show under the special tab ‘Promotions’ which contains emails you receive from companies advertising themselves. Also Gmail ads are not that bad, you can live up to it. The fact of the matter is that it has lost its dominance in email, there are about 281 million accounts on Yahoo! mail and 1 billion on Google so that says it all. It has lost its hold over one of its most iconic products, the Yahoo! Mail. The failure of Yahoo! is reflected from the fact that earlier it used to ask for all sorts of things in the sign up page like the city you live in, Gender, your birthday, alternate email, and security questions. But now none of these things are compulsory. Now just enter your name, password and mobile number and you’re done. You may be thinking why I am writing this but I feel that Yahoo! is deliberately asking for fewer things in its sign up page so as not to annoy their users in sign up page and attracting more internet users to create their own Yahoo! account by asking fewer things(which nobody does these days).
Arguably one of the first instant messengers using Internet, Yahoo! Messenger was the norm of the start of 21st century. At the start of the century almost every internet user had installed Yahoo! messenger onto their computers. But the rise of Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and other similar services destroyed the iconic Yahoo! messenger. Why would one open the computer to chat with someone when one can do the same thing with a smartphone? The reasons for demise of Yahoo! messenger was the rise of smartphones and instant messaging apps on them. It did release Yahoo! messenger for mobile but it was too late. When Yahoo! Messenger was launched for mobile, almost every smartphone owner had a copy of WhatsApp or Snapchat installed in the phone. The other thing with messengers is that nobody would migrate to Yahoo! messenger from other messengers even though it is a million times better than the messenger they are using because all your contacts may not use Yahoo! Messenger. So migration from other services to Yahoo! messenger is possible only when all the smartphone users at once realize that Yahoo! messenger is a better option and install it on their phones which is a highly unlikely event. Numerically speaking Yahoo! messenger has been downloaded more than 50 million times on Android platform whereas its competitor WhatsApp has been installed more than 1 billion times. To make matters worse Yahoo! hasn’t created Yahoo! messenger for Windows Phone.
One of the most stupid things done by Yahoo! is signing a deal with Bing for powering all the Yahoo! Searches. Yahoo! Search was the second most used search engine with an impressive market share. Why would anybody use Yahoo! search if it just shows the results of Bing? Earlier Yahoo! use to have a commendable 20% market share in the United States. Now due to this deal, the two (Bing & Yahoo) have merely traded their positions and now Yahoo! has an 8.14% market share and Bing having about 20% market share, effectively trading their position through the deal.
I must admit that Tumblr is one of the most innovative concept in the technology world. It is a very powerful integration of social media and blogging. Bloggers were getting traffic to their sites in large numbers. But suddenly a company called Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion which is the thing that Yahoo mustn’t have done. Yes, Tumblr was an innovative concept but was not still worth $1.1 billion. Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer herself has admitted that they have overpaid for the site as this article at Businessinsider shows. Tumblr was a site which had a lot of traffic but was and is still not generating enough revenue as Yahoo! expected. Now, it seems that Yahoo! is regretting buying Tumblr.
Probably the first most used photo sharing website on the world, no one shares photos on Flickr these days. This can be attributed to the rise of Instagram. Instagram, like Twitter is probably the favourite social media destination for celebrities which increases the number of active users on the site. From Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo to Justin Bieber, major celebrities use Instagram. And on the other hand, Flickr is the ghost town. I believe that the best place to hide a photo is to upload it to Flickr because nobody really uses it. Also about 20% of the all internet users use Instagram. Can you imagine that? That’s like out of randomly selected 10 internet users, 2 are most probably using Instagram. Instagram has like 400 million users and Flickr barely crosses 100 million mark. About 40 million photos are uploaded on Instagram daily whereas just about 1 million photos are uploaded on Flickr daily so Instagram is 40 times larger than Flickr, though Flickr has been around for longer time than Instagram.