Yahoo Closing Buzz Social News Site Thursday

Apr 20th, 2011 | By | Category: Marketing

Yahoo announced Tuesday that it will be discontinuing its Yahoo! Buzz news site Thursday.

“Yahoo! Buzz will be discontinued as of April 21, 2011,” the statement read. “As of this date, you will be unable to access the Yahoo! Buzz site. This was a hard decision. However this will help us focus on our core strengths and new innovations.”

Yahoo! Buzz launched in February 2008, inspired by the success of the social news site Digg. Digg popularized the practice of voting news stories up or down, tying news story ranking success to social popularity. The tactic worked for Digg, which generates 8.5 million monthly visits and ranked 135th on Alexa as of March 2011. Yahoo had hoped the same strategy would enable it to compete with larger online media companies such as Google and MSN, Yahoo’s largest search engine competitors.

But even Google, with its Google Buzz feature, has found it difficult to wrest the social media niche away from top competitors like Facebook and Twitter, and Yahoo hasn’t found it any easier. Yahoo. Under CEO Carol Bartz, who took the helm in January 2009, Yahoo has been refocusing on its best-performing websites and display advertising, scaling back unprofitable operations, downsizing its staff, and outsourcing its search engine results. As part of this trend, Yahoo is shutting down its social blogger network MyBlogLog on May 24, recommending for current users to try Yahoo! Pulse instead. Yahoo is also expected to sell off its social bookmarking site Delicious.

Yahoo first-quarter performance exceeded expectations, generating $1.06 billion in sales rather than the anticipated $1.05 billion. The excess was largely due to increasing demand for display ads, such as banners and videos.

However, revenue was down 24 percent from the same period last year, and profit was down 28 percent. To account for this, Yahoo expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of its partnership with Microsoft’s adCenter service. Yahoo teamed up with Microsoft’s Bing search service last year in an effort to win advertisers back from Google. Unhappy with the results, Yahoo says it is delaying further implementation of the search-advertising part of the partnership agreement until Microsoft improves adCenter’s performance. However, Yahoo adds that it is confident adCenter’s issues can be resolved.

Yahoo shares climbed as much as 5.5 percent in late trading Tuesday and rose another 4.7 percent Wednesday, increasing 75 cents to close at $16.87.

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