Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is banking on Facebook and mobile technology as she attempts to reverse the company’s lagging fortunes.
The veteran Internet portal revealed a new, streamlined home page today promising a faster, friendlier interface without gaudy advertising.
“Whether checking the latest news, sports scores, or just searching, Yahoo has always been about bringing you the very best of the web,” Mayer wrote in a blog post. “And, today, we’re introducing a new, more modern experience to do just that.”
Mayer assumed the rotating CEO position last July, and this is her third significant initiative, Reuters reported.
The former Google executive has lent some stability to Yahoo after Scott Thompson resigned due to controversy over his credentials, co-founder Jerry Yang divorced himself of the brand and Carol Bartz was fired for failing to deliver results.
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Early reviews of the new Yahoo are favorable.
“This is definitely an important step,” analyst Sameet Sinha told Reuters. “It’s familiar in terms of layout, the newsfeed is interesting, and it will be interesting to see how it develops over time. … The key will be how data is aggregated within Yahoo and Facebook.”
Among the most notable differences today, according to Yahoo vice-president Mike Kerns:
- Sign in with your Yahoo or Facebook accounts.
- Click “more” on certain topics to personalize an infinite news feed.
- View Flickr photos from those you follow with a new app.
- Sharing favorite stories through Twitter, email or Facebook.
- Apps for stocks, sports, weather.
- See birthdays from your Facebook friends.
- Swipe navigation for iOS or Android mobile devices.
“These changes are just the first step in making Yahoo personalized, and the more you visit Yahoo, the better it will become,” Kerns wrote online.
Mayer told The New York Times that she plans on more changes in the coming months.
She’s already revamped Yahoo’s email products and its Flickr service in an effort to return to past glory. The Times said Yahoo’s share of digital ad revenue in the US has declined to 8.4 percent last year from 15.5 percent in 2009.
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