Of all the keynotes at CES on day one, the Yahoo! one with CEO Marissa Mayer way in heavy attendance. The search giant has gone through some major identity changes in the last few months, with a refreshed team refocusing on the company’s strengths. What are those? Search, Communications, Digital Magazines and Video (don’t forget they own Flickr and Tumblr now).
Today, the company had a few major announcements to bring to its audiences, and we have to admit, the company isn’t just getting a re-polishing, but rather some serious thought is going to their content.
Here’s what’s new:
- Excepted 3.8 Billion connected devices in 2017
- Acquired Aviate, which calls itself an "Intelligent home screen service."
- 100 new global search partners, bringing the total to 869
- Added SSL Protocol for email and ads, most secure content provider around
- Media is one of Yahoo’s key focuses
- Overhauled core media properties
- Katie Couric was present, who’s now the Global Anchor for Yahoo News
- New iPhone app: Yahoo News Digest, brings curated news to your device
- Launched: Yahoo! Tech (Yahoo.com/tech) headed by David Pogue
- Launching: Yahoo! Smart Guide
Needless to say, that’s a lot new services. Aviate launched last year as a beta on Android, and it allowed users to customize their home screens based on time of the day, including moving buttons around. It learns where you are, the time of the day and adapts your home screen for that situation. What are Yahoo!’s plans? We’re not too sure, but they will surely look to expand it to their other services.
Yahoo! Tech is lead by ex-New York Times tech writer David Pogue and the site is now live. Currently, featuring five writers, the site is positioning itself as the anti-Engadget/Verge/Gizmodo in that it will make tech “easy” to understand. The site comes off as a cross between Pogue’s very general tech articles with a hint of BuzzFeed e.g. “4 Ways To Keep Your Smartphone's Battery Healthy, Happy And Juiced Up”. The site layout is super clean with a new panel design and expanding articles. Another bonus feature are no banner ads (though it’s not yet clear on how they’re making money off of you).
Having Katie Couric on-hand shores up their news credentials and even some SNL actors participated, in part to help promote the SNL video clip partnership with Yahoo! Screen (their new video service).
Overall, it was an exciting presentation. Yahoo! clearly has a lot of things in motion and it remains to be seen if they can become a legit player against YouTube, Facebook, Google and other content providers and distributors. One thing though is certain, the company has a vigor that we haven’t seen in years – and when was the last time you saw anything good about Yahoo!?