Today in Social

Yahoo announced it would cut 2.000 employees to save $375 million a year and gain nimbleness and focus. And what will the big portal focus on? According to this memo to employees from CEO Scott Thompson, Yahoo will try to make its media and communications products the best in the business, beef up its “platform” (by which it seems to mean infrastructure to run those things, rather than a tech platform for third-party developers), and better use its consumer data for personalization and ad targeting. I’m missing the “focus” part. AllThingsD points out that Yahoo doesn’t say what it’s doing about possibly selling its ad technology and ad networks, whether it will change partners or unload search, or what head of product Blake Irving will work on, if anything. When Thompson joined Yahoo in January we advised him to give up being a tech platform, a social media company or an ad network, fix Yahoo’s ad targeting – which might require access to search data, if not actually selling search ads – focus on brand advertising and buy some quality content sites. This is Yahoo’s sixth large layoff in four years, and I’m not going to try to count the re-orgs and strategic shifts. The brand isn’t completely broken in consumers’ minds, and Yahoo still has a big audience. How much longer will they hang around?

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David Card

VP Research Gigaom Research

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