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February 27 2014


February 25 2014

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February 11 2014

Yahoo Acquires Social Diary Company Wander For Over $10M
yahoo-exclamationYahoo has acquired New York-based startup Wander. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but based on rumors I heard last night at the Crunchies, it appears that the price was north of $10 million. Led by founder Jeremy Fisher, Wander has raised a total of $1.2 million in funding.

February 10 2014

Flickr At 10: 1M Photos Shared Per Day, 170% Increase Since Making 1TB Free
flickr-1Social photo sharing site Flickr is now 10 years old, marking a decade since Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield founded the originally Vancouver-based startup. The site was acquired by Yahoo back in 2005, a little over a year after its founding, and reportedly paid around $35 million for the startup, which at the time had around 1 million very loyal and consistent users. Flickr has grown to the point where it now has 92 million users, spread across 63 countries, who contribute to almost 2 million groups and share around 1 million photos every day. The site has weathered its fair share of criticism, especially among those who worried that its ability to impress and innovate would peter out after the Yahoo purchase. A major product redesign across mobile and desktop under Marissa Mayer impressed critics and users alike, however, and silenced many of those prognosticating an early death for the photo sharing site. One other recent change has driven a lot of growth, too: Flickr says that photo uploads on the site are up 170 percent since it made 1TB of storage a free, standard feature for all users back in May 2013. One more big change is that the iPhone is now the most popular camera on the platform, and smartphones in general are popular. The iPhone took over the top spot back in 2011, and new models have risen quickly to the top of the heap ever since.

February 07 2014

Yahoo Confirms It Has No Plans To Update Flickr’s Windows Phone App
Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 9.51.31 AMYahoo has no current intention to update its Flickr application for Windows Phone. A user request for the company to both update its extant, but quite dated Windows Phone app, and perhaps build one for Windows 8 (another user requested a Windows 8.1 app separately) was met with a terse, if friendly response: Thank you for this feedback. At this point, we are focusing our mobile development efforts on iPhone and Android apps. If this changes, we’ll let you know in the forum here. Yahoo confirmed the decision with TechCrunch. The company provided a second short statement: We can confirm that we currently have no plans to update our Flickr Windows Phone app. At times, we have to make tough decisions and prioritize our efforts. This change will allow us to spend more energy on improving our Flickr mobile experience. Microsoft did not respond with comment in time for publication. (Update: Microsoft declined to comment.) To sum, Yahoo is focusing its resources on the two largest smartphone platforms — iOS and Android — and is not pushing cash or hours toward Microsoft’s Windows Phone effort. To quote WMPowerUser, who brought the initial Yahoo response to our attention, “Yahoo released [a] Flickr app for Windows Phone devices back in [the] WP7 days. After a period of time, the app was never updated and Yahoo never showed any interest in revamping the app.” Microsoft’s hard-fought, and earned position at number three in the smartphone game has brought the firm increasing mobile presence and credibility. Yet that doesn’t mean, as we can see here, that all players are now willing to spend to cater to its audience. That Yahoo, a now purportedly mobile-first company would choose to avoid Windows Phone makes the decision all the more salty for Microsoft. Yahoo itself took some razzing over the choice. Flickr users, in response to the company’s stated decision, lit the firm up. A sampling from the thread: “I will be taking back all my photos now. sticking them in to skydrive until a proper upload service can be created for the 1020. one I can upload over the air.” “Congratulations to Flikr, a service that is failing fast, in ignoring the fastest growing mobile platform and one that has some of the best mobile photography devices on the market.” “yahoo has been buying out so many dev studios and you can’t afford to buy one that already has windows

February 04 2014

Yahoo Goes Down
yahoo-exclamationYahoo appears to be experiencing technical difficulties across its network of sites, with outages occurring on the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo Weather, Yahoo Mail and Flickr. confirms that Yahoo is experiencing difficulties, and Twitter is also in an uproar over the outage. According to Twitter complaints, the outage seems to have started around 1:25pm ET, with touch-and-go service since. We’ve reached out to Yahoo for more details and will continue updating the post with further information. Developing…

February 03 2014

Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google And Yahoo Join Apple In Revealing More On NSA Requests
FILE PHOTO  NSA Compiles Massive Database Of Private Phone CallsAll the big tech companies are opening up a bit more about requests made by the U.S. National Security Agency, with Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and LinkedIn detailing new info included in their respective transparency reports today. The new reports now include how many requests for the data of its members it has received from the government, how many total users were affected, and what percentage of those receive a response from the company. Apple released similar data last week alongside its earning call, and there’s a reason for the timing that’s non-coincidental: A change to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act just put into effect now allows the companies to share more specifics around what kind of information they’re sharing and being asked to share by the government. The increased transparency was put into effect last week, in a ruling addressed to the legal counsel of all those companies listed above. These new reports will be updated every six months, which is also stipulated in the new ruling, subject to changes in the degree of transparency legally allowed by the government. The rules allow for the information around number of FISA orders for content, non-content (i.e. age, name and location) and number of customer accounts to be narrowed only by blocks of 1,000 or more, and the number of customer accounts affected to be reported in chunks of 250. It’s not pulling back the curtain entirely, but it is a step towards greater transparency. This is likely part of U.S. President Obama’s efforts to introduce surveillance reforms, but hopefully it’s just the start, because I imagine this will leave a lot of interested observers hungry for more.

February 01 2014

Yahoo Could Do Search Because It Needs The Money
Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 5.44.30 PMYahoo could be getting back into the search game. Its long-suffering deal with Microsoft has underperformed, making recent revelations that the company is working on building new search products hardly surprising.

January 30 2014

Yahoo Detects Mass Hack Attempt On Yahoo Mail, Resets All Affected Passwords
yahooThe details are a bit sparse right now, but Yahoo has just disclosed by way of their Tumblr that they’ve detected what they’re calling a “coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts”.
Tags: TC Yahoo

January 29 2014

Yahoo Has Closed The Tomfoolery Acquisition, Will Shut Down Anchor, Team To Work For Bonforte
Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 00.21.14We now have more details about the deal between Yahoo and Tomfoolery, an enterprise app studio co-founded by ex-Yahoo and ex-AOL alums, which we and others have reported is getting acquired by Yahoo.
Yahoo Is Shutting Down IntoNow, Nearly Three Years After Its Acquisition
intonowIntoNow — the second-screen app that Yahoo bought in the spring of 2011, just twelve weeks after its launch — is being shut down by its parent company. As of last week, IntoNow was taken off the Apple App Store and Google Play, and an email sent to users notified them that the app would stop working as of March 31.
Tags: TC Yahoo intonow

January 28 2014

Tech Stocks Slip On Earnings Weakness
Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 2.42.01 PMToday has been a difficult one for technology earnings, with Apple, Yahoo, and VMware losing ground after reporting their quarterly results. Apple, despite growing its revenue and earnings per share, reported flat net profit and an iPhone sales figure that, while higher than the year prior, disappointed the investing class. Its stock fell in after-hours trading and today dropped a corresponding 7.91 percent in regular trading. Its shares are flat in after-hours trading.
Marissa Mayer On Yahoo’s Fired COO: De Castro “Not A Fit”, No Plans To Replace Him
henrique de castroYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer offered some brief comments about the departure of COO Henrique De Castro during today's earnings webcast. The company announced earlier this month that De Castro, who joined Yahoo from Google in 2012, was leaving. The move that was widely seen as a firing resulting from De Castro's difficulties turning around the ad business. (In today's earnings report, Yahoo said sales and display advertising declined 6 percent year-over-year.)
Yahoo’s Tech And Food Sites Built On Tumblr, Have Seen 10M Uniques Since Jan. 7 Launch
Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 5.22.46 PMAt CES this year Yahoo unveiled its new Tech and Food vertical news and information sites, which feature a visual-heavy redesign that resembles Flipboard somewhat but with more of an online news site vibe. Today, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer revealed that the sites are based on a Tumblr backend, which marks a departure from the typically personal or informal use of the lightweight blogging platform as a CMS. Yahoo also provided some updates about the traffic being generated by the Tech and Food sites, which feature content from big-name hires made last year including former NYT columnist David Pogue and TV news anchor Katie Couric. Yahoo has seen over 10 million uniques in the less than a month since the launch of the two new sites, Yahoo revealed. To put that in perspective, the entire NYT website claims 31 million monthly uniques, according to its official media kit. Since launching on January 7th, we’ve already seen more than 10 million unique users on @YahooFood and @YahooTech. $YHOO— Yahoo Inc. (@YahooInc) January 28, 2014 Mayer also discussed Tumblr’s overall performance, perhaps as a way to respond to speculation in the media that the blogging site is facing growth stagnation. Tumblr’s user base has grown 30 percent since March last year, Mayer says, and usage on mobile is faring even better, with over 50 percent growth between the same time and today. Last week, comScore numbers published by Forbes suggested growth might be flat, but Yahoo’s Tumblr team said that engagement is actually up 51 percent overall and 251 percent on mobile, citing data not properly captured by comScore as the reason for the discrepancy. Mayer reiterated multiple times during the call that mobile and social are the key to Yahoo’s continued growth, and figuring out how the right way to advertise on that platform is clearly going to be a big priority. Already, Mayer says branded content on Tumblr is seeing huge uptake, so clearly the company thinks it’s addressing that opportunity correctly.
Yahoo Is Buying Tomfoolery, An Enterprise App Studio Led By Ex-Yahoos And AOLers
tomfoolery anchorYahoo's acquisition spree continues apace, with the next deal likely to cover a few different bases for the company: mobile, enterprise and bringing ex-Yahoo talent back into the fold. We have heard that Yahoo is in advanced talks to acquire Tomfoolery, an enterprise app studio co-founded by two ex-Yahoos and two ex-AOLers. One person close to the situation says the deal could be done as soon as this week. The WSJ is also reporting a possible acquisition and puts the price at $16 million.

January 27 2014

Department Of Justice Will Allow Big Tech Companies To Disclose Detailed Numbers Of Surveillance Requests
US-Department-Of-JusticeApple today released more details on the requests it receives from government surveillance agencies after the Department Of Justice releaxed limits on disclosures. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and LinkedIn today were given the right to disclose more details on the data requests and orders they receive from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court after suing the government for months to declassify these numbers.

January 24 2014

Yahoo Acquires Virtual World Gaming Startup Cloud Party, Will Shut It Down
Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 5.15.13 PMYahoo is doing more than just throwing shade at Google on Twitter today and then taking it back – the company has acquired Cloud Party, a browser-based game creation engine. In a blog post today, the Cloud Party team shared that they will be joining Yahoo after two years of operation, and that the service will shut down on February 21, 2014. Cloud Party is the work of a founding team of MMO and console game industry vets, including Sam Thompson (formerly of Cryptic and Pandemic), Jimb Esser (also ex-Cryptic), Conor Dickinson (ex-Facebook, Tomb Raider dev and Cryptic alum) and Jered Windsheimer (Cryptic, natch). They built Cloud Party as a sort of free-form virtual world experience, similar to Second Life, but with an updated view of what an online virtual world might look like with more emphasis on user-generated 3D content. It’s not exactly clear what the team will be working on at Yahoo, but it will definitely be games related, as Thompson notes in his farewell blog post that the Cloud Party squad is “excited to bring [its] vision and experience to a team that is as passionate about games as [they] are.” Of course, Yahoo has a games portal of its own, but nothing quite so ambitious as a browser-based virtual world. Perhaps it’s thinking about doing something in that direction, but it’s more likely this was a small acquisition designed to bring some strong video game engineering (Cloud Party works in the browser with no plugins necessary) on board, with the ultimate aim of using that talent to fuel Yahoo’s own separate ends. If you happen to be an existing Cloud Party user, there’s a guide provided by the startup to help you export your data. Yahoo continues its habit of picking up small startups with unique and divergent skill sets, but only time will tell if these are merely an engineering talent grab to help shore up some of Yahoo’s talent losses to more appealing firms over the past few years, or whether some of these things result in new product launches for the big purple exclamation mark. It’s also worth noting that Yahoo acquired a gaming infrastructure startup back in May of last year. PlayerScale, the company in question, builds the bones for cross-platform gaming, and supported over 150 million players worldwide at the time of acquisition. The platform continues to operate, and is slated

January 22 2014

Marissa Mayer Won CES
Marissa+Mayer+Consumer+Technology+International+iV8WRPyWo5ClWhat's that old saying? Software will eat the world? That was never more evident than at CES 2014. Now that the dust has settled, the Gorkana Group has released a social insight report for the event, and one thing is instantly clear: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won the show.

January 20 2014

Remeasuring Yahoo’s Alibaba Goldmine
Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 11.40.19 AMLet’s go back in time. In 2005, Yahoo purchased 40% of the Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba for $1 billion. The move would later all but save the American company. While Yahoo, under the leadership of its yet-new CEO Marissa Mayer has shown fresh dynamism, and has rebuilt its reputation in the technology market as its mobile push has matured, the company’s core financial performance metrics have dragged. Revenue has sagged, as have earnings. For all its vaunted mobile growth, Yahoo has not managed to turn around its advertising business, even as its search incomes have been lackluster. Why then the dramatic rise in its share price over the past few years? It goes back to that Alibaba purchase made nearly a decade ago. Yahoo sold 40% of its 40% Alibaba stake in 2012 for a massive $7.6 billion. The company now owns a more modest 24% of Alibaba. (Media reports tend to indicate that Yahoo owns 24% of Alibaba, while the below linked company report indicates 23%.) It doesn’t want to shed a share of that remaining equity so long as it can. That’s due to the simple fact that at Alibaba’s current growth rates, the longer Yahoo holds on its shares in the company, the more money it makes. How do we know that Yahoo wants to hang onto its Alibaba equity? A recent agreement that lowered the percentage of its extant holdings that it must sell at the time of Alibaba’s IPO. Here’s Yahoo at the end of its prior deal to sell some of its shares back to Alibaba: Today’s announcement is the first step in a staged and comprehensive value realization plan for Yahoo!’s stake in Alibaba. Under the terms of the agreement, the second phase allows for Yahoo! to monetize approximately half of its remaining stake at the time of an initial public offering (IPO) of Alibaba at the IPO price. Lastly, after an IPO, Yahoo! has the right to sell its remaining shares following a customary lock-up period. However, in late 2013, Yahoo got a partial reprieve. As I reported at the time: Today in conjunction with its third quarter earnings release, Yahoo announced that it has come to a new agreement with Alibaba that will force the company to sell less of its shares in the Chinese ecommerce firm when it goes public. The number of shares that Yahoo will be required to sell now totals 208 million. That figure represents
Tags: TC Yahoo alibaba

January 17 2014

Confirmed: Yahoo’s Editor-In-Chief Is Out
Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 6.04.24 PMEffective tomorrow, Yahoo's Editor-In-Chief Jai Singh is out at the company. A Yahoo spokesperson confirmed the news with TechCrunch following earlier media reports of his exit.
Tags: TC Yahoo
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