There was a time when the Yahoo homepage was one of the most important pieces of real estate on the internet. Verizon hopes to relive that prominence.
The carrier, now Yahoo's owner, said Wednesday it's launching a free new Yahoo app as a one-stop shop for all sorts of info, be it email, sports scores, finance and daily deals from partners like eBay. There's a lot of old-web stuff there too, like weather, horoscopes and popular news.
Being a smartphone app, it won't look like the Yahoo page from decades ago. Aside from keeping the exclamation point at the end of the Yahoo name, the app has has a more modern feel, offering information in a continuous scroll filled with items the app might be relevant to you (think: Facebook Newsfeed).
"So much has changed since the early 2000s, but when you really drill down to the basics, what users need and want are still the same," said Tenni Theurer, a general manager for Yahoo.
That notion might cause you to do a double-take, given that the web pretty much rejected the Yahoo homepage as one of the net's power centers. Having more than 3 billion users hacked probably didn't help either.
Before Verizon bought Yahoo in 2017, for example, daily active user traffic to Yahoo's homepage to fell more than 16 percent and mail dropped by more than 11 percent, according to a 2016 report in The Information. Yahoo Search saw a nearly 9 percent decline as the company struggled to transition from PCs to smartphones.
The data has gotten better in the past year, however. Yahoo's owner, Verizon Media Group, has ticked a 41 percent rise in mobile views in the 12 months ended September 2018, according to Comscore data provided by Verizon. People are also spending nearly double the time on the sites as well. The company added that unique US visitors to Yahoo's homepage have risen 3 percent over that same period.
With its new Yahoo app, Verizon thinks it may further crack that nut by borrowing from apps likethat deliver a range of services, including messaging, payments and news. Theurer said the "all-in-one" app approach will likely become prevalent worldwide.
She's not the only one making that bet. Facebook, too, has been loading its Messenger and WhatsApp services with extra features, including the ability to easily share news, transfer money and tap into ride-hailing apps. Apple's iMessage has followed a similar path.
The question will be whether Yahoo's brand can hold its own against those tech giants.
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