Yahoo has been flailing for quite a while now in the traffic numbers and they are having problems focusing. Google stole their search and advertising traffic, Facebook is de facto home of social connections, both are stealing their best employees and no one is interested in creating a personalized home page anymore.

Yahoo mail is doing great, but who cares? You can get free email anywhere, and people are using less and less of it now that Facebook is getting serious about their Messages feature. Besides, putting ads next to personal emails is not a respectable business model, and it just won’t work if your core business isn’t advertising.

Why hasn’t more attention been brought to Flickr, a service that many people are happy to pay for? Does Yahoo’s CEO even use it? (She seems more like a Snapfish user to me.) People with iPhones have snatched up Instagram in record time. Flickr for iPhone would be more popular if they had actually put some effort into making it useful. Right now it’s great for browsing my own photos but that’s about it.

How about Delicious? Just as Flickr used to be the de-facto photo sharing site on the web, Delicious used to be the best way to store, tag and share your bookmarks. But just like Flickr, they stopped innovating five years ago and have festered while competitors (like Pinboard) snatch up their most important users.

So what’s left for Yahoo? I think their main users see it as a “web portal,” a home page with a bunch of ever-changing links they can click on when they get bored. Does the world need a web portal anymore? Do people need their hand held or can they type in a URL all by themselves? Isn’t this why AOL went under?

Posted Mon 27 June 2011