The Yahoo chronicles. Needs: new CEO. Has: new Flickr app
The event was to unveil a couple of new product announcements from Yahoo‚Äôs Flickr division, the 50-person photo-sharing product group based in San Francisco‚Äôs financial district.
The Flickr folks unveiled the official Flickr app for Android smartphones, with features such as built-in photo filters to spiff up pictures and various social networking capabilities. The other new product is called ‚Äúphoto session,‚ÄĚ a real-time collaboration tool that allows groups of friends to flip through and play with online photo albums together in their Web browsers.
Yahoo executives outlined the company‚Äôs focus on mobile and social as a core part of it strategy going forward, promising an ‚Äúaccelerated pace of mobile offerings‚ÄĚ and touting Yahoo’s ability to leverage what it referred to as users‚Äô ‚Äúinterest graph‚ÄĚ (which it distinguished from the ‚Äúsocial graph‚ÄĚ that Facebook controls and the ‚Äúinformation graph‚ÄĚ that Google dominates).
The elephant in the room however was the uncertain future of Yahoo, which fired Chief Executive Carol Bartz earlier this month and has retained investment bank Allen & Co as it undergoes a ‚Äústrategic review‚ÄĚ that many observers think will lead to the company’s break-up or sale.
Would the leadership gap distract Yahoo employees or undermine efforts to innovate and push forward with its mobile and social strategies?
Not according to Yahoo Vice President of applications and mobile product management Steve Douty, who said that Yahoo employees were ‚Äúheads down,‚ÄĚ and focused ‚Äúon the same mission that we were before.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no reason to put the brakes on anything that we‚Äôre doing at this point,‚ÄĚ Douty said.
‚ÄúIs there some amount of uncertainty? Sure. But if you read a lot of what‚Äôs written about Yahoo, that‚Äôs been written about us for months and months, and years,‚ÄĚ he explained.
Of course, Yahoo hasn‚Äôt exactly proved any of the naysayers wrong in recent years: revenue has declined during the past three years while the company‚Äôs stock price has never returned to the levels it traded at before spurning Microsoft‚Äôs acquisition offer in 2008.
So perhaps, it‚Äôs business as usual at Yahoo, for better or for worse‚Ä¶