All Articles Tagged "yahoo"

Marissa Mayer Announces New Digital Magazine & ‘Yahoo! Tech’ At CES

January 8th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on stage at CES. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on stage at CES. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“Yahoo is about making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining,” said Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Tuesday. In line with this mission, Yahoo is launching a new short-and-sweet digital magazine and a visually-focused Yahoo Tech page to match their fast-paced, restless readers.

“We’ve all had that experience with articles that are TLDR,” said Mayer. What the heck is TLDR, you ask? “‘Too long, didn’t read,’” Mayer clarifies. To solve this problem, Yahoo has come up with “Yahoo! News Digest,” a digital outlet that aggregates all the current info on sports, politics, U.S. news and more.

But what makes this app perfect for this gotta-go generation is that it only delivers the top nine stories of that day. Yahoo News Digest will also feature “atoms” to heighten engagement with its users.

“Atoms are other bits of information, like stock tickers, quotes, tweets, videos, maps, and other things that directly relate to and enhance the story,” Business Insider reports.

This idea was snatched from Summly, a mobile start-up, which Yahoo acquired for $30 million. What’s even more interesting is the face behind Summly — an 18-year-old Australian computer programmer. That’s right… A teenager was behind the incorporation of this new widget that incorporates technology and journalism in an interactive way.

“At its core, it simplifies news and eliminates the problem of information overload.”said Nick D’Aloisio at CES.

Also among the big news announced is Yahoo Tech! “There are already plenty of websites about technology,” admits David Pogue, a former New York Times writer hired to helm Yahoo Tech. “The thing is that they’re by geeks, for geeks,” said Pogue, alluding that their articles have too much mumbo jumbo.

Yahoo Tech will tell you which devices you should buy, but it will also tell you how you should use it. Expect tutorials and easy-to-understand instructions on how to maneuver around your desired device. “At Yahoo Tech, we have a language we’re going to speak and it’s called English,” Pogue jokes.

Yahoo’s presentation at CES certainly turned heads as the web giant brought Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson and Cecily Strong to help launch Yahoo News Digest. Adding to the star power, Katie Couric — who made headlines by leaving ABC News for Yahoo — was present as well.

“Yahoo, under Marissa’s leadership, has shown a real commitment to the quality content that will help us all have a much better understanding of this complicated, noisy, wonderful world,” Couric said.

After the last quarterly earnings were reported in October, USA Today wrote, “Mayer has righted the ship since joining Yahoo about 15 months ago, spurring a major recovery in its shares, which have more than doubled in the period,” though there was a small drop in revenue. Still, there’s a lot more coming from Yahoo to appeal to consumers. Are you a Yahoo devotee? Becoming one?

No More Big Brother! Major Tech Firms Urge Government To Enact Surveillance Reform

December 13th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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If you’re upset over the government’s surveillance of online activity of American citizens, most technology giants say they are as well. And they have decided to take action.  AOL Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Microsoft Corp., Twitter Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. have issued an open letter to Washington, calling for massive changes in the way the U.S. government collects data on citizens.

All eight companies signed the letter. According to documents leaked by former defense contractor Edward Snowden, most of these companies were listed as being among the targets from which the U.S. government is extracting digital information as part of a sweeping surveillance effort.

“We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens. But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide,” the companies wrote in the letter to President  Obama and the U.S. Congress. “The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for change.”

The companies are using the letter to call on the U.S. and other governments to enact “sensible limitations on their ability to compel service providers to disclose user data.”

Major backlash from their users may have prompted the companies to make this move. “The disclosures have left many tech companies, which collect vast amounts of user data as part of their businesses, worried that customers might defect or be less willing to share their information if they think the government is snooping on them,” reports The Los Angeles Times. 

“People won’t use technology they don’t trust,” wrote Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president at Microsoft. “Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.”

The coalition of tech companies have also launched a website for the campaign. The site includes a list of quotes from the company’s leaders. Most call for more government transparency, as does Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook.

“Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information,” said Zuckerberg. “The U.S. government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.”

Do you think the government should continue to collect data from Internet users?

Katie Couric Heading To Yahoo News, Keeping Her Talk Show For At Least A Few More Months

November 25th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, announced on the company Tumblr today that Katie Couric will be joining the team as “global anchor” in early 2014. According to the post, she’ll be “the face of Yahoo News,” shooting features for the homepage and leading a team of correspondents. CNN says it will put an end to Couric’s role at ABC News, but her show will continue as it has been renewed for another season. There have been reports of internal strife on the set of Katie and the show has struggled in the ratings. Plus, it’s really boring.

Among other recent acquisitions to the Yahoo news team are The New York Times‘ tech reporter David Pogue and New York Times political correspondent Matt Bai.

Couric spoke with CapitalNewYork over the phone last night and said she was drawn to Yahoo by the wide open playing field she’s going to have.

“What I really am excited about in working with the team at Yahoo is that there are no rules right now, we are going to try things, we are going to see how they go, we are going to see what people are interested in, we can do everything from a town hall meeting to in-depth interviews to a breaking news story,” she said.

Yahoo’s homepage gets 170 million views every day. ABC and Yahoo have a preexisting news exchange relationship.

The Exclamation Point Dances! Yahoo Debuts New Logo

September 5th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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yahooThe new Yahoo logo is here finally, courtesy of  CEO Marissa Mayer.

While its not earth-shattering, the new version of the company’s 18-year-old logo was done to  match the nearly two-decade-old portal’s ongoing makeover.

There was actually a 30-day campaign leading up to the official unveiling of the new logo,  reports Ad Age. Yahoo debuted the first major redesign of its logo since 1995 on the site’s homepage early Thursday morning. But get this: the new logo was not among the 30 teased over the past month.

The new logo was created exclusively by Yahoo’s in-house brand design group and product designers. And if you’re thinking it doesn’t look much different than the old logo, it’s not supposed to. In order to retain the brand’s familiarity, the new logo features much of its predecessor’s qualities — the purple, the exclamation point, the varying letter sizes meant to represent a yodel’s sound waves, notes Ad Age.

“This represents a significant evolution of the logo,” said Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt, noting that elements have been tweaked.  The purple is “far richer, deeper.” The exclamation point has a more slender, rounder shape. And, it will animate for three seconds (“half a yodel,” says Ms. Savitt) after someone initially navigates to a Yahoo site. And the logo is made out of a new typeface that was  created exclusively for Yahoo.

Yahoo SVP-brand creative Bob Stohrer said the design team’s aim was to create a logo that was “sophisticated with a wink” and can be animated, kind of like the Google Doodles of Ms. Mayer’s former employer. “It might be an exclamation riding on a Segway, or riding on a pogo stick or swinging on a Tarzan vine. It’s a hat tip to the traditional whimsy our users have loved and will continue to love,” Ms. Savitt told Ad Age.

Obviously Yahoo is happy with the new logo, even if everyone else is a little lukewarm. Let’s see what the general public thinks. Do you have any opinion about it?

They Beat Google?! Yahoo Draws In the Most Web Visitors In July

August 22nd, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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yahoo newsWith much credit to their fairly new female CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo — the underdog — has surpassed Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to grab the No. 1 spot as the most visited Internet company in America, Adweek reports.

Before Yahoo’s current head honcho took over, the company lagged behind Google and Microsoft, hovering in third place. Mayer has been Yahoo’s CEO for only year but her value is already materializing; during her tenure, the company’s shares have nearly doubled, according to USA Today.

For the first time in two years, Yahoo drew in the most Internet traffic with 197 million visitors in July. Since Yahoo did recently acquire Tumblr, speculators believe that was the reason behind the boost. However, the latest comScore report shows the company’s Web traffic without data from the popular blogsite.

Google surprisingly came in at second place with 192 million visitors. Microsoft and Facebook both land at third and fourth place with 180 and 142 million visitors, respectively.

According to the comScore report, Facebook has apparently “ lost its cool factor with teenagers“; this year, there are 19 million fewer users on the social media giant. AOL, on the other hand, increased its Internet traffic by seven million.

Are you surprised Yahoo outdid Google? I certainly am.

Millions Of American Tax Dollars Pay For Expensive Government Surveillance

July 12th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Do you know what adds insult to injury with this government surveillance fiasco? We are the ones who pay for our conversations and emails to be tracked. Millions of American tax dollars are handed over to law enforcement and U.S. government agencies to cover the expense of tapping into our private lives, reports USA Today.

AT&T charges Big Brother a $325 activation fee to place bugs into our phone lines and a $10 maintenance fee. Verizon is a little more demanding; this phone company charges $775 for the first 30 days of surveillance and $50 per month thereafter. All secretly paid for by our U.S. tax dollars.

Emails are a little bit cheaper. The American Civil Liberties Union releases email records for about $25. Facebook is much more generous and does not charge the government a dime for access to profiles. Other email services such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google refuse to disclose the amount they charge.

A “murky multi-million dollar market,” USA Today claims, has emerged from spying on Americans and civil liberties groups want these businesses to continue to charge to government. If tracking the American public becomes too cheap, that would encourage more unwarranted wiretaps than needed. “[P]rivacy advocates also want companies to be upfront about what they charge and alert customers after an investigation has concluded that their communications were monitored,” it adds.

The FBI, in an emailed statement, said if they feel that the charges are too exorbitant, it “tries to work with the carrier to understand its cost structure.” Verizon said that with only a team of 70 employees, it’s becoming more expensive to accommodate the 25 million requests it receives from the government annually.  Between 2007 and 2011, Verizon has collected between $3 million and $5 million a year from the government.  AT&T estimates about $24 million collectively between during the same period.

One narcotics  case in New York cost the government $2.9 million for wiretapping; “The average wiretap is estimated to cost American taxpayers $50,000,” said

The U.S. government has long benefited from access to phones and Internet traffic to catch terrorists and high-profile criminals. In 1994, the government allocated $500 million for wiretapping. Government surveillance is not going anywhere and the business is only growing.

How do you feel about your tax dollars going towards this cost?

‘Dirty Old Man’ Shareholder Publicly Hits On Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

June 27th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
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Credit: WENN

Credit: WENN

One could only hope that when a woman reaches the pinnacle of her industry, she won’t be subjected to insulting and distracting sexism. But it seems no woman is immune in the corporate world. At a recent Yahoo shareholders meeting one shareholder literally came on to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.

The Huffington Post reports that when investor George Polis stood up to ask Mayer a question about his investment recently, he prefaced his question with: “I’m George Polis. I have 2,000 shares of Yahoo. I’m Greek, and I’m a dirty old man, and you look attractive, Marissa.”

After the audience let out a small chuckle, Polis finally asked about dividends. There still is a blatantly obvious difference  in the way people address women in power verses men. “No one would ever stand up in a meeting to say he or she was attracted to Mark Zuckerberg,” writes HuffPo.

Mayer did not respond to the man’s comment. But, just a note, Mayer is a married woman with a child. The audacity!

Should she have responded to Polis’ sexist statement?

Yahoo Is Bidding For Hulu, And We Get A Lesson In Corporate “Doublespeak” From Marissa Mayer

May 28th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images)

Marissa Mayer. Patrick McMullan/Sipa USA (Sipa via AP Images)

Yahoo just announced that it would be buying blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Now the company is already talking about purchasing the online broadcaster Hulu for somewhere in the $600 million to $800 million range.

Hulu is currently owned by Disney, Comcast, and News Corp. A few years back, Yahoo tried unsuccessfully to buy YouTube. That company ultimately went to Google. So AllThingsD suspects that this is Yahoo’s second stab at making a big purchase in the online video space. The ultimate price of the company will come down to factors like how long content on the site is licensed for. Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and a number of private equity groups including Silver Lake Partners are also in the bidding war. The owners would like to get between $1 billion and $2 billion for the site.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer could also be looking to purchase two other companies, each costing in the $150 million and $200 million range. But when the Tumblr sale was announced, she said she’d want to take a break from the buying game. But, she added “never say never” on another deal. So BuzzFeed wonders whether Mayer is just saying words with no meaning. Actually what she’s doing, Peter Lauria writes, is engaging in what he calls “CEO deal doublespeak.” He says:

Mayer’s comments are designed to reassure investors that Yahoo will be methodical and thoughtful about how it spends its money. In effect, she is saying the company doesn’t plan to do deals just to do deals. They will be thoughtful about what companies they buy, making sure they fit with Yahoo’s overall mission and strategic plan. Such reassurance gives investors confidence to stick with the stock, which is up about 70 percent since Mayer came aboard last year.

At the same time, her comments leave the door open to being opportunistic.

This is something we can use in our own professional lives. When you’re dealing with a boss or a client, they want to know that whatever they’re talking about at the moment has your undivided attention. You’ve got tunnel vision for this project and this is what you’ll be working on with an update to come! But you know that an hour later, when they come back with a new request or something marked “PRIORITY,” you’ll immediately turn your attention in order to handle this new project. If it’s small, you’ll bang it out and get it done. If it’s a longer-term project, you’ll find a way to juggle the two.

Your clients and managers are your investors (they’re the ones signing the checks right?) and they need to be reassured that you’re a winning stock. Sure, there are times when you have to say no. If there are too many extra projects and interruptions, you have to draw the line. But sometimes, responding in a reassuring way then going back to your desk and doing what needs to be done to keep things running successfully is the way you have to handle things.

Fired Tumblr Writers Lose Out On Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars

May 24th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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A screengrab from the popular Tumblr WhatShouldWeCallMe

A screengrab from the popular Tumblr WhatShouldWeCallMe

When Yahoo announced that it would be buying Tumblr for $1.1 billion, it made a lot of people a lot richer, including CEO David Karp, the company’s 26-year-old founder who stands to get $250 million from the deal. (He never went to college!) But there are some people who are missing out on the windfall, namely, the editorial team that was fired right before the sale.

According to The Atlantic Wire, the company’s 178 employees are all getting something. Those who have been there from the start are getting millions (the first 30 staffers are getting $3.3 million, for example.) Three editorial team members could have gotten $371,000, but they were let go prior to the sale.

The Atlantic Wire makes the point that those staffers worked on a project that only launched last year, so it’s possible it wouldn’t have gotten the stock options to be eligible this kind of a windfall. But the mere fact that it was a possibility is probably making their Memorial Day weekend as gloomy as the New York City weather right now.

VentureBeat offers up five things you should be aware of before deciding to work for a start up. The article notes that three-quarters of start ups fail and the pay isn’t going to be at market value. But there is the off chance that you will be part of a company like Tumblr that takes off and gets mega attention and mega bucks. So if you’re going the start up route, it’s important to take note of the opportunities and the limitations of the business you’re working with. Some of this is fate, which can’t be controlled. But another part of it is being aware of the business you work for, the marketplace, and your passions and contributions to the company. Who knows… what starts as a small operation could turn you into a millionaire.

Yahoo To Announce $1.1 Billion Purchase Of Tumblr

May 20th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. (AP Foto/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. (AP Foto/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)

Yahoo is expected to announce the $1.1 billion purchase of blogging site Tumblr, the seventh acquisition under Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the largest to date, according to The New York Times.

Yahoo continues to struggle to catch up to online competitors like Google after once being a frontrunner and pioneer in the tech space. Tumblr could help the company make inroads with younger users and advertisers, who have migrated to other sites.

However, Yahoo has a history of buying popular companies and then watching them die, as in the case of photo site Flickr. That was beloved in its time and has now been overtaken by Instagram, another company that was bought for a billion dollars, that one by Facebook.

The question remains whether Tumblr will actually make Yahoo any money. On its own, it has struggled to do so. But given the efforts to overhaul the company, the plan could be to bring it in and then use it to draw profits. Mayer has already, notably, made lots of changes internally at Yahoo, including a ban on telecommuting. Last week, Business Insider noted that the company has been purchasing failed mobile companies in order to acquire their talent. (One VC notes this could be a bad move.)

Tumblr has 108 million active blogs with tons of users who are blogging and visiting regularly. However, the company hasn’t been able to crack mobile. According to AllThingsD, Yahoo doesn’t expect to make money from Tumblr right off the bat. And there will be more ads on Tumblr, much to the dismay of many regulars, we’re sure. Yahoo said on a conference call today that they’re not going to “screw things up” with this deal. And since there are some cool Tumblrs out there, we hope so.

So Yahoo’s comeback is still a work in progress, work that’s happening very publicly. Do you think it’s going to be big again?

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