The Yahoo evolution continues – this time with a few more swings of the axe.

Friday, Yahoo announced that it would be sunsetting a handful of its products in a move consistent with CEO Marissa Mayer’s plan to aggressively prune the unruly conglomerate.

Out With The Old, In With The Cool

Yahoo will be terminating some of its more vestigial products, which is exactly what it needs to do. Cleaning out the old, rotten stuff will help rid the company of its unhip World Wide Web-esque vibe. These soon-to-be-dead products will join the ranks of some of Yahoo’s mobile apps, which are next for the chopping block. Here’s the list of what the big Y! will jettison:

  • Yahoo! Message Boards website
  • Yahoo! app for BlackBerry
  • Yahoo! Avatars
  • Yahoo! Updates API
  • Yahoo! Sports IQ
  • Yahoo! App Search
  • Yahoo! Clues (beta)
  • Yahoo! Updates API

It’s hard to say what, if anything, will be missed on that list. Yahoo’s Message Boards seem like they might still show some signs of (protozoan) life. But Yahoo Avatars might have been singlehandedly perpetuating the company’s out-of-touch, mid-1990s image. (Seriously, have you seen those things?)


On Yahoo’s Yodel Anecdotal blog (which I really wish had made the list), Jay Rossiter, the company’s Executive Vice President of Platforms, explains the culling with a shout out to recent updates on Flickr and Yahoo! Mail, two Yahoo products people actually use. According to Rossiter, Yahoo wants to hang onto only products that are a “daily habit that still resonates.” The goal is to sharpen the company’s focus on its brand new Mayer-era direction.

Yahoo Is Now A “Technology Company”

In another decisive move that bubbled up quietly Friday via an SEC filing, Yahoo now fashions itself as a “global technology company.” For the past few years, Yahoo had been resolutely calling itself a “digital media company,” so the change is a bit curious, though the timing isn’t. Here are the old and new Yahoo boilerplate excerpts, with the updated language highlighted:

Old: Yahoo! Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries… is a premier digital media company. Through our proprietary technology and insights, Yahoo! delivers personalized digital content and experiences, across devices and around the globe, to vast audiences.”

New: “Yahoo! Inc., together with its consolidated subsidiaries… is a global technology company focused on making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining. We provide a variety of products and services, many of them personalized, including search, content, and communications tools—all daily habits for hundreds of millions of users, on the Web and on mobile devices.”

Between the quiet rebranding and these ancient products galloping off into the sunset, Yahoo is increasingly focused on the one thing that certainly needs the attention – the company itself. 

Image of axe courtesy of Shutterstock.