Yahoo thinks it can compete in the mobile browser space, and has apparently decided not to worry about competing in the tablet news reader space – at least not as directly.
Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that Yahoo wants to compete in news reading, browsing and search all from one app – Axis, which it introduced this week.
In a blog post today, Yahoo announced that it’s shutting down Livestand, its competitor to the popular iPad news reader app Flipboard. The reason it’s shutting down? Consolidation.
“As announced during our most recent earnings call, we’ve decided to discontinue or consolidate a number of products across Yahoo!’s technology platforms over the course of 2012,” says the post from Regan Clark. “Platform consolidation enables us to put many Yahoo! properties onto common key platforms and technologies to make everything more scalable and nimble. And when we discontinue products, it will be so that we can focus on opportunities where we lead and where we can create the most meaningful experiences for people using our products, and for our partners, developers and advertisers. One of the first decisions we’ve made along these lines is to discontinue our personalized digital newsstand app, Livestand for iPad.”
Keep in mind that there is a heavy focus on pushing Yahoo content in the new Axis app. Search results (or at least suggestions) have been suggested to heavily favor Yahoo content (Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo News, etc.). Of course Yahoo Trends are front in center in the app.
“We have learned a lot from Livestand and are actively applying those insights toward the development of future products that are better aligned with Yahoo!’s holistic mobile strategy,” says Clark. “We are pivoting to a mobile-products-first development model (check out Yahoo! Axis as a great example of this) and there’s no doubt that one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, priorities for us is to innovate for the mobile user, whether they’re using feature phones, smartphones or tablets – or iOS apps, Android apps or mobile web browsers, for that matter.”
Yahoo only announced Livestand in February 2011. It’s surprising to see it go so soon. I’m guessing Axis will be the major area of focus as far as Yahoo’s mobile strategy goes, for the foreseeable future.