In the younger days of the Internet, Yahoo! was a major player. It was a search engine, email provider, managed groups, and more. Somehow, though, the services it provided have fallen by the wayside. Google seemed to do all that and more and Yahoo! was left in the dust. New CEO Marissa Mayer seems to have plans for the company to bring it back from the almost-dead. In just the last couple of days, they have made two really interesting acquisitions.
Last week Yahoo! acquired Jybe, a social recommendation company. The two-year-old company was begun by individuals who were previously employed by Yahoo! The purpose of Jybe was to connect people and their physical world by making recommendations of restaurants, media, etc. They had an iPhone app, but that will be shut down now.
Just a few days later, Yahoo! is now announcing yet another acquisition. It has now acquired Summly, a news gathering and delivery service. It, too, is already an app. What makes it interesting is that the founder of Summly is just 17 years old, yet it’s a worthy enough company to have attracted Yahoo!
Yahoo! obviously has plans for something, but what is it planning with a news gathering and delivering service and another service that makes lifestyle suggestions, two services that were previously apps?
There are two different directions Yahoo! could be moving in. One would be that they have realized they missed the boat the first time around, and while Google swept in and eliminated them from the competition, they moved on to become even more, much more than just an Internet search company. Perhaps Yahoo! sees their mistakes now and wants another crack at it.
Or Yahoo! could be going in an Apple direction. They like to acquire small companies and apps then somehow make them into major functions of their service. A few years back Apple acquired Siri, shut the app down, and turned the service into one of their major functions in their iPhone with plans to put it in cars well. Whatever it is that Yahoo! is planning, they’re also being secretive about it, like Apple as well.
Many people have discarded their use of Yahoo!, moving on to Google and other services. At one point it was the service everyone looked to for free Internet-based email, but many of those yahoo.com accounts have been ditched in favor of Gmail. Maybe it’s time to dust off those old Yahoo! email accounts while we wait to see what it has planned.
What do you think of Yahoo’s recent acquisitions and what are you hoping Yahoo! has planned? Speak out in the comments section below.
Image credit: By grahamhills