Amidst the various tasks on Marissa Mayer's to-do list at Yahoo is crafting a more coherent mobile strategy - which will likely include ditching a number of the company's apps.
During an appearance at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference yesterday, Mayer said Yahoo has a "surprisingly large number" of mobile customers - 200 million monthly active users, to be exact. But overall, the company has a "scattered product portfolio."
That includes between 60 and 75 mobile apps, some of which are not Yahoo-branded offerings. "The goal is to get focused on a dozen or so apps that people use all the time on their phone, and really make sure we have terrific design [and] execution," she said.
A quick search for "Yahoo" on the App Store on an iPhone 5 brought up a number of apps, including the standalone Yahoo app, its main search app, Messenger, the Axis search browser, Yahoo Mail, Finance, TimeTraveler, Sportacular, the IntoNow search app, the Flickr app, as well as separate apps for Fantasy football, baseball, hockey, and basketball, and more.
"Ultimately, you want to not trouble users by making them download and install too many apps," Mayer said. "Still, on the phone, many apps are single purpose."
Mayer does not expect users to have all of the 12 to 15 apps that Yahoo will eventually end up with, suggesting that two to four is probably more realistic.
Apps that probably won't go away are the fantasy sports league apps, particularly football. "It's played by millions of people, and the amount of time they spend ... is something that's really intriguing," Mayer said. "It's an amazing avenue for our users and a great opportunity because they see a very specific type of audience."
In terms of bringing existing services into the mobile fold, meanwhile, Mayer pointed to Yahoo Groups. "A mobile phone is a much better place to do group communications," she said, while the platform "opens up possibilities" regarding how people can message and contact each other and how notifications will work.
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