The Yahoo chronicles. Needs: new CEO. Has: new Flickr app
The event was to unveil a couple of new product announcements from Yahooâ€™s Flickr division, the 50-person photo-sharing product group based in San Franciscoâ€™s 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 â€śphoto session,â€ť 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 companyâ€™s focus on mobile and social as a core part of it strategy going forward, promising an â€śaccelerated pace of mobile offeringsâ€ť and touting Yahoo’s ability to leverage what it referred to as usersâ€™ â€śinterest graphâ€ť (which it distinguished from the â€śsocial graphâ€ť that Facebook controls and the â€śinformation graphâ€ť 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 â€śstrategic reviewâ€ť 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 â€śheads down,â€ť and focused â€śon the same mission that we were before.â€ť
â€śThereâ€™s no reason to put the brakes on anything that weâ€™re doing at this point,â€ť Douty said.
â€śIs there some amount of uncertainty? Sure. But if you read a lot of whatâ€™s written about Yahoo, thatâ€™s been written about us for months and months, and years,â€ť he explained.
Of course, Yahoo hasnâ€™t exactly proved any of the naysayers wrong in recent years: revenue has declined during the past three years while the companyâ€™s stock price has never returned to the levels it traded at before spurning Microsoftâ€™s acquisition offer in 2008.
So perhaps, itâ€™s business as usual at Yahoo, for better or for worseâ€¦