The recent sale of Yahoo to Verizon signals the end of a long decline in the once giant media company.
Although we are not going to touch here on the many reasons Yahoo lost its popularity, we are going to reflect back on the good ol’ days, when yahoo was the most popular home page and website on the internet.
Yahoo got its start in the late 90s as an online directory and was the most popular home page for internet users.
It was known for its categorized website listings.
Then the internet got so big, it was virtually impossible to simply list all the websites in it on one page and the search engine was born.
Yahoo was again at the forefront offering search on its homepage.
As it matured, Yahoo became an umbrella to most of the products internet users used in their daily life and as a result, generated a massive amount of viewing eyeballs.
The following are our pick of the top five products we loved, used and were ahead of their time, but never improved.
YMessenger was light years ahead of MSN and ICQ and had some great features even messengers today don’t have.
With video chat and built in chatrooms, it was an awesome IM.
Unfortunately, lack of security, swayed users away and with the rise of Skype, Yahoo failed to keep up.
Similar to today’s Facebook’s, Yahoo groups where a great tool to connect with people with similar interests.
Yahoo email includes a great user interface, especially on mobile devices and the ability to quick find files or images.
Unfortunately it doesn’t always work and often tends to lock users out their mailboxes.
Yahoo was the first ecommerce provider, offering merchants their own online stores.
The stores, however, where limited in functionality and lack of investments eventually led to users preferring other ecommerce providers such as Shopify and ShopSnap.
Similar to Quora, users could ask and answer questions.
We know it probably won’t happen, but, we think that if yahoo only spent some time expanding its range of products, and improving on existing ones, they might still be a player today.
Here is our list of products we think they should have offered:
1. Video Conferencing
It probably wouldnt take much to add video conferencing to YMessenger.
With little effort, Yahoo could rival Skype and Skype for business again as well as Google Hangouts.
Yahoo Groups can include meetups, which can boost the popularity of its Groups product.
Meetup.com is currently ranked 367 on Alexa, and with little effort, yahoo can capitalize on Meetup’s popularity.
3. Business Reviews
Before Yelp and Angie’s List there was CitySearch and before that was Yahoo Local.
Yahoo kept a listing of businesses, and with little effort, could have added reviews.
Yes they did have a free Auction product, but, an Ebay style Auction site could have been a real boost.
Yahoo never did get their search to be as good a Google’s.
It would be great to see the company that started as an information directory finally make the jump to become a search engine.
What will happen to Yahoo now?
According to Fortune magazine, as growth in Telecom slows down, Verizon plans to utilize its advertising technology in order to create more revenue from mobile devices.
Will they keep the rest of the platform alive?
It’s likely that they will take the same approach as their recent AOL purchase and keep popular services going.
If you are asking yourself: “Should I migrate my Yahoo Mail to Gmail?”
Our recommendation is yes.
Even if Verizon keeps Yahoo Mail working for a while, Gmail is a much better choice, and besides, we still remember the day our Go.com email address vanished.