Yahoo to shut down seven products, including BlackBerry app


SAN FRANCISCO: Yahoo Inc is shutting down seven products, including its mobile app for Blackberry smartphones, as new chief executive Marissa Mayer takes a cue from Google Inc’s playbook by phasing out unsuccessful products en masse.

The product shutdowns that Yahoo announced on its official blog on Friday are part of what the company said are regular efforts to evaluate and review its product line.

“The most critical question we ask is whether the experience is truly a daily habit that still resonates with all of you today,” wrote Jay Rossiter, executive vice president of platforms at Yahoo.

The announcement represents Yahoo’s second bulk product shutdown since Mayer, a former Google executive, became CEO of the struggling web portal in July. So-called “spring cleaning” ads, in which several products are shut down, have become a regular feature of Google in recent years.

Mayer signaled that the company would reduce its range of mobile apps at an investor conference last month, noting that Yahoo would reduce the 60 to 75 disparate mobile apps it currently has to 12 to 15 more manageable apps.

Yahoo said its app for Blackberry smartphones will no longer be available for download or support from Yahoo starting April 1.

Yahoo also said that starting April 1, it will stop supporting Yahoo Avatars – the cartoon-like digital characters that consumers create to represent them on web services such as Yahoo Instant Messaging and Facebook.

Consumers who wish to continue using their avatar on Yahoo’s online services must download the avatar and then re-upload the information to their personalized Yahoo profile.

Other Yahoo products to be terminated include Yahoo App Search, Yahoo Sports IQ, Yahoo Clues, Yahoo Message Boards website, and Yahoo Updates API. (Reuters)

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