Yahoo! Inc. Closes Unpopular Services, Gets A Price Bump

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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is up in early trading today after announcing that it was paring back some of its less popular services to focus on the ones that people really care about (h/t Karina Magalong at The Street). Some of these features have been completely eliminated, while others have been worked into core products that are meant to be easily (and habitually) used by consumers. It’s up 0.33% to $36.00, the highest point in a couple of weeks.

“By focusing our energy on Yahoo’s four core areas — Search, Communications, Digital Magazines and Video — and the two incredible engines that power them, Flickr and Tumblr, we can make a bigger impact on the things people do everyday,” Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) wrote on its Tumblr page.

Yahoo labels some services ‘defunct’ and rebrands some of its online content

Some of the changes that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) mentioned have already happened. The Newlook Service and Yahoo Finance Research Reports were both discontinued on April 30 because they didn’t see much use, and was closed on May 26 because Yahoo wants people to start using the Yahoo Toolbar extension in their browsers, giving the site a more central role in their online experience.

People Search was shut down yesterday, described as a ‘defunct directory that’s no longer useful,’ but Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) also wants to consolidate users’ search requests to the same place as part of its focus on becoming a more habitual site. It also closed Xobni and the Smartr Product Suite, decisions that were announced last July, though it says that the technology behind Xobni is being used to improve Yahoo Mail.

Yahoo Shine will close by the end of this month, though it sounds more like it has been rebranded into several more specific digital magazines such as Yahoo Travel and Yahoo Beauty. Yahoo Voices and Yahoo Contributors are both being shut down at the end of the month with no obvious replacement.

One change that doesn’t have anything to do with streamlining services is the discontinuation of the Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) Toolbar for Chrome, in compliance with a Google Chrome policy update. A Yahoo Extension for Chrome will replace it, and Firefox users will be able to continue using the Yahoo Toolbar as before.

Post hints at more services to be dropped in the future

The blog post also described this as an ‘overview of our progress,’ implying that Yahoo hasn’t finished pruning its wide array of services. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer has been buying companies at a steady clip since she took over the company, but most of its stock price gains are because of Yahoo’s large stake in Alibaba. Investors may be hoping that she is finally going to bring all those acquisitions into a cohesive user experience.

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