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Yahoo axes more products to 'sharpen focus'

Yahoo Avatars, app for BlackBerry, and Message Boards are among the products going away in April, says Jay Rossiter, head of Yahoo's platforms.

3 min read
Yahoo Avatars didn't make the cut and will be shut down on April 1. (Credit: Yahoo)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is honing the product focus of the company she has been running for seven months, eliminating several products that were deemed insufficiently popular with the company's 700 million users. Yahoo is discontinuing development and support of its mobile app for BlackBerry and Yahoo Clue, a tool introduced in November 2010 that shows detailed search trends, for example.

Mayer has described Yahoo's core business as personalizing content and its goals as increasing user engagement, boosting the company's international audience, and broadening its demographic base. Products that don't fit into that agenda won't get the resources to stay afloat.

A blog post by platforms chief Jay Rossiter about the product eliminations indicated that Yahoo is going to focus only on core products and experiences, meaning those that are daily habits for users such as the Yahoo home page, Flickr and Mail, all of which were recently updated.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in January, Mayer outlined the "daily habit" business model: "So the nice thing at Yahoo is that we have all of the content that people want on their phone -- we have these daily habits. And I think that whenever you're dealing with a daily habit and providing a lot of value around it there is an opportunity not only to provide a lot of value to the end user but to also create a great business."

Below is the list of the products from Yahoo that will cease to exist in April:

Yahoo Avatars

Effective April 1, 2013, we will no longer support Yahoo Avatars across our properties. If you like your existing avatar and want to keep it, please go to the Avatars download page, pick a picture size and format, and click the appropriate download button. Similarly, if you want to edit your avatar, you can download the image and then use a photo editing service of your preference. If you want to continue using your avatar with our products, go to Yahoo Profile and upload the avatar you downloaded. For more details, please click here. Additionally effective April 1, we will no longer support the Avatars YQL table.

Yahoo app for BlackBerry

Effective April 1, 2013, the Yahoo app for BlackBerry will no longer be available for download. For those of you who have already downloaded the app, you can continue to use it but it will no longer be actively supported.

Yahoo Clues (beta)

Effective April 1, 2013, Yahoo Clues (beta) will shut down.

Yahoo App Search

Effective April 1, 2013, Yahoo App Search will shut down.

Yahoo Sports IQ

Effective April 1, 2013, Yahoo Sports IQ will shut down. Your final lifetime Sports IQ score and rank will be automatically transferred to and preserved within your Yahoo Fantasy Profile.

Yahoo Message Boards Web site

Effective April 1, 2013, the Yahoo Message Boards Web site will shut down. Our message boards on individual properties (like Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Fantasy Sports) will remain active. We also encourage you to ask and answer questions on Yahoo Answers, and discuss issues in the comments section on Yahoo News.

Yahoo Updates API

As of April 16, 2013, we will no longer support the Yahoo Updates API.