Yahoo is apparently determined to show that it can do more than pay $1.1 billion for a bunch of teenage girls’ blogs. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that Yahoo has submitted an offer to buy video streaming website Hulu, a sign that the company is still considering ways to counter the enormous video streaming clout that Google now holds with YouTube. Yahoo was interested in buying a majority stake in French video streaming website Dailymotion earlier this year but that deal fell apart after the French government reportedly threatened to block it. In making an official bid for Hulu, Yahoo will be competing with Time Warner Cable, which is considering buying a 33% equity stake in the company. It’s unknown at this point whether Yahoo’s bid for Hulu will just be for a similar shared stake or if it plans to be more aggressive and buy a majority stake in the firm.
Yahoo turned some heads this week when it announced that it was paying $1.1 billion to buy blogging platform Tumblr, but this isn’t the first time it has spent at least $1 billion to acquire another company. As NPR points out, Yahoo has bought several companies over the past 15 years that it has valued at $1 billion or higher, including most famously its $3.7 billion acquisition of GeoCities in 1999. Other failed Yahoo acquisitions include the $5.7 billion it paid for multimedia website Broadcast.com and the $1.63 billion it paid for search advertising pioneer Overture. In fact, all of these acquisitions make the $30 million that Yahoo paid for Flickr back in 2005 seem like a relative success story, since Flickr is still an operational service that the company is still pouring resources into. That said, when Flickr is seen as the best-case scenario for a Yahoo acquisition, it’s easy to see why Tumblr users are nervous.
After a number of newspapers and blogs wrote about Yahoo’s now-confirmed $1.1 billion acquisition of popular blogging platform Tumblr, users were angry. The world has no idea what Yahoo has in store for Tumblr, of course, but the Internet giant’s reputation has many users worried. So much so, in fact, that some have already begun to defect. According to WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg, Tumblr users are switching to WordPress in droves. In a recent blog post, Mullenweg says WordPress typically imports between 400 and 600 Tumblr posts per hour, but during a one-hour period on Sunday as news of the imminent deal spread, that figure climbed to 72,000. Yahoo confirmed the $1.1 billion deal on Monday, and it is expected to announce further details during a press conference in New York on Monday evening. Yahoo’s full press release announcing the acquisition follows below. More →
Yahoo has apparently had enough of Bing powering its searches. An unnamed source tells The Wall Street Journal that Yahoo has been “quietly trying to find a way out of its struggling Web-search partnership with Microsoft… but has so far failed in that effort.” The Journal’s source says that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive, has been trying to free the company from the search deal ever since she took over last year but that Microsoft has been unwilling to cooperate. Mayer wants to scrap Yahoo’s Bing deal because “Yahoo’s revenue per search has been worse under the Microsoft deal than when it operated its own Web-search technology and advertising system,” the Journal writes.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is reportedly looking to step up the competition with her former employer. According to AllThingsD, Mayer has held preliminary talks with Hulu executives to discuss a potential bid for the video-streaming service. The move to acquire Hulu, which offers movies, TV episodes, trailers, clips and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, TBS and other networks, would put Yahoo in further competition with Google as it prepares to take on traditional television with its YouTube service. More →
Just because Apple’s (AAPL) plan to ditch Google Maps has been a bust so far doesn’t mean that the company has given up on decreasing its devices’ dependence on Google’s (GOOG) mobile services. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and Yahoo (YHOO) “have been discussing how more of Yahoo’s services can play a prominent role on Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices,” including increased integration into Siri, Apple’s virtual personal assistant. The Journal’s sources also say that the companies are discussing “possible deals to get more content from Yahoo News and its other Web properties loaded onto Apple devices,” although no deal is imminent at this time. The Journal notes that some Apple executives, including senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, have been reluctant to drop Google entirely because its search results remain superior to those of its competitors.
Yahoo’s (YHOO) ambitions to expand its reach on the web have now come into clearer focus now as The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is considering buying a major stake in Dailymotion, the second-largest video sharing website on the Internet after YouTube. Unnamed sources have told the Journal that buying a stake in the French video-sharing site “would help U.S.-based Yahoo to gain a bigger toehold in online video in parts of Europe and Asia.” The Journal’s sources also say that Yahoo initially plans to buy as much as 75% of the site while retaining the option to purchase the entire company, which could be valued at $300 million.
Like a lot of people, I was initially skeptical of Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to bar her employees from working at home and to force them to work at the office. After all, I work from home and I find that it’s actually made me more productive in many ways than I’ve been in previous jobs — for instance, the fact that I don’t have to commute means that I can start work around an hour earlier than I did at my last place of employment. But every organization is different and after learning the reasons why Mayer made her decision to end working at home, I think she deserves the benefit of the doubt in this particular case. More →
Meet the new Yahoo (YHOO). It looks much the same as the old Yahoo, but it does include some nifty new features. As Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer outlined in a blog post on Wednesday, Yahoo’s newly revamped homepage now includes an “infinite scroll” news feed that behaves more like a Twitter feed than a traditional list of news links. The new homepage is also more tightly integrated with Facebook (FB) and lets users see all Yahoo News articles recommended by their friends. And finally, Mayer says the new site has been better optimized for both smartphones and tablets, and should now load faster on both thanks to some “under the hood” improvements. The revamped site’s new features should be rolling out to users throughout the week, Mayer says.
Hot on the heels of its email redesign, Yahoo (YHOO) announced on Wednesday that it has completely redesigned the Flickr iPhone app. The new app borrows heavily from Instagram and focuses on what makes Flickr special: photos and communities. Yahoo’s new Flickr app also includes 16 filters with their own fancy names to go head-on with Instagram and Twitter’s recently updated app that added eight filters. Users can now access the Flickr app with numerous accounts including Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG) and photos can be shared to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or via email. The new Flickr app is available for free on iPhone but to our disappointment, there isn’t an iPad-optimized version. More →
As a former Google (GOOG) executive, Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer seems to have learned something about creating a strong email interface. That’s why it’s not too surprising that the new Yahoo Mail unveiled on Tuesday bears a striking resemblance to Gmail with a cleaner look and fewer on-page distractions. In a post on the official Yahoo blog, Mayer writes that the company has “redesigned the new version of Yahoo! Mail with speed in mind — getting through your emails is faster than ever before” while also making “your inbox more intuitive and easier to navigate, allowing you to focus on what matters most: your messages.” Mayer said that the changes were made due to users who “told us loud and clear that you want fewer distractions when it comes to email.” In addition to its new web mail interface, Yahoo has also released a new Yahoo Mail app for iOS, Android and Windows 8.
It’s fairly safe to say that RIM (RIMM) won’t be inviting Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer to the grand BlackBerry 10 launch early next year. In an interview with Fortune on Tuesday, Mayer reiterated that her company is moving away from using BlackBerry devices. But she also went a step further to rub salt in RIM’s wounds by stating repeatedly that she wants her employees to move “from BlackBerries to smartphones,” with the implication that BlackBerry devices no longer count as smartphones. More →
It looks as if Microsoft’s (MSFT) efforts to dethrone Google (GOOG) as the search engine king have failed. The Internet giant’s search market share hit record highs in the month of October, accounting for 66.9% of all searches conducted in the United States. Microsoft’s efforts may have been ineffective at toppling Google thus far, but the company’s advertising campaign has helped it steal market share from other search engines. According to comScore’s most recent numbers, Bing also had a record month with a 16% share of the market. The total number of searches conducted in October increased 8% to 17.6 billion, with Google accounting for 11.8 billion compared to Microsoft’s 2.8 billion. Rounding out the top five search engines were Yahoo (YHOO), Ask (IACI) and AOL (AOL) with 12.2%, 3.2% and 1.8% shares of the market, respectively. It is worth noting, however, that the research firm does not account for mobile searches.