We’ve noticed that since Marissa Mayer came from Google to become the new CEO of Yahoo! (and a new mom!), the company’s undergone quite a few changes so Yahoo! can better compete with Google, Apple, and even Instagram. The most controversial changes Mayer has put in place is by far her ban on working from home, which used to be considered a huge benefit of working at Yahoo!. We think that Mayer’s most influential change is shifting Yahoo!’s focus toward technology, product development (particularly iOS apps), and partnering with some of the company’s potential competitors, such as Apple, in order to make the company more competitive with other industry leaders.
Mayer recently decided to chop Yahoo!’s mobile apps from over 75 to about a dozen, so the company can offer consumers higher quality apps, while paying attention to the competition and finding Yahoo!’s niche. The new Yahoo! mobile app was just launched, which, in the words of Marissa Mayer, “delivers better mobile content discovery.” Yahoo! just bought Summly in March, a tech start-up from Britain that scans content to give an accurate but brief idea of what’s on a site. Using Summly’s technology (invented by a 17-year-old, who is now worth 30 million dollars by the way), Yahoo! was able to quickly benefit from its algorithms and machine learning to merge, as Mayer says, “great technology and beautiful design front and center.” Yahoo!’s new iOS app also includes the ability to learn what your interested in, so you’ll more likely come across the topics you enjoy, rather than those you don’t. The more you use the app, the more it understands your preferences, which you also have the option to select or remove yourself.
Under Mayer’s leadership, there have also been positive responses to Yahoo!’s newly released weather app. The iOS app uses Flickr (owned by Yahoo!), which has recently added Instagram-like filters to better compete. Flickr has also been updated to allow users to download Flickr photos onto their phone, upload pictures to the app more quickly, and tag friends with an “@” sign. But another recent success is Yahoo!’s new iOS email app, honing in on the fact that Yahoo! is still a very popular email provider (the app has also been redesigned for the web, Android, and Windows 8). Mayer defends her new work from home ban, saying that these are the types of products created by the innovation and collaboration that becomes possible when people work together in the same space.
Since Mayer’s start as CEO, revenue has gone down slightly, but earnings have increased 36 percent. Mayer recognizes that it will take awhile for Yahoo! to regain market share, but that they are officially “back in the game.” We think Mayer seems to know what she’s doing by simplifying Yahoo!’s strategy, and she’s definitely revamping Yahoo! to better compete with other internet and app industry leaders. The question seems to be whether or not Yahoo! can catch up with it’s competitors. We’ll keep an eye out on to see how she does.