Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer said she plans to focus on mobile applications and strengthening ties to Facebook to bolster turnaround efforts at the biggest US Web portal.
"A lot of the strengths of Facebook are available to Yahoo users," Mayer said yesterday at an investor conference in San Francisco. "That's something we want to build upon. We have a real commitment to bringing valuable content to our users."
Since Ms Mayer arrived as chief executive last year, Yahoo has ceded share in its core business of display advertising. This year, Yahoo's share of the US market will slip to 8 per cent, from 9.3 per cent in 2012, according to researcher EMarketer. Google will widen its lead to 18 per cent from 15 per cent last year, while Facebook will advance to 15 per cent from 14 per cent.
To court users and advertisers, Ms Mayer said she'll focus on "the dozen or so applications that people use all the time on their phone." That means slimming down from the 60 to 75 or so applications Yahoo now offers, she said.
"How many people at least once a day mark an e-mail as unread on their phone, just so they can go back later and read it on their PC?" Ms Mayer said. "There's a clear opportunity for innovation. The tool just doesn't work that well right now. These are the types of things we're thinking about."
Turnaround efforts will target changes that can get users interacting more, and for longer periods of time, she said last month.
In the same way that recent updates to the Flickr image-sharing service got users uploading 25 per cent more photos, and an overhaul of Yahoo Mail resulted in a higher portion of ads being clicked, the company hopes to refresh sites such as Yahoo Finance and Yahoo News, Ms Mayer said.
* Bloomberg News