I have probably been hyper-critical of Yahoo over the years as they have stumbled and fumbled their way around new ideas and innovation, in fact scratch that, I’ve been very critical. My reason behind this is not some kind of personal vendetta which I have towards Yahoo, but rather annoyance that they were so close to being at the forefront of it all, yet they constantly seem to slip further and further back in the grand scheme of things, with young, fresh and hungrier companies climbing past them. We only have to look at their horrific foray into the generation business which of course saw two top execs shown the door.
It is with all of this in mind that I am erring on the side of caution and not getting overly hyped about this new idea of Yahoo, which is going to be called Brand Universe, a sort of aggregator which will bring together entertainment, gaming, pop culture and social media all in one place.
Aim of the Program
According to Yahoo head of games and entertainment Vince Broady, monetization is not the be all and end all here but the move is instead seen as one which will further support and boost the Yahoo brand. This would appear that Yahoo are instead looking to place themselves as a marketing platform which will of course lead to future brand growth and monetization, regardless of what Mr. Broady says.
Brands Working With Yahoo
Here is where I kind of reach my limit with Yahoo and their history of cack-handed announcements and ideas which have not been properly thought through or constructed. So far we know that there will be aggregated content from the likes of Flickr and Del.icio.us but as yet not all brands are 100% signed up to be working alongside Yahoo, which gives the appearance of a ‘we’ll see how you get on first approach’. Quite why Yahoo can’t tell these 3rd party sites that this is what they can expect and they either sign up or stay out is beyond me, especially when the search engine will be making the content of their partners far easier to find and digest.
I think that as kernel this is a fabulous idea which could even use data in the future to tailor-make the home screen of the suer to have all of their loves in a single space, and the opportunity at that point for heavy marketing is infinite. Sadly however I just don’t buy into how Yahoo are pitching it, I feel as though they are jumping the gun and releasing a Beta version which may or may not work. I like it, but the execution is just going to have to be better in order to convince me that this will change the way in which we use the search engine.
Sorry Yahoo, I do hope I’m wrong.