Marissa Mayer has engineers at Yahoo working on two new messaging apps, one focused on one-to-one communication, and the other on group chats. The work on these two services is part of a new focus at Yahoo on social and search, two of the biggest advertising areas for tech companies to be involved in.
Yahoo’s one-to-one communication service will feature live video chat like Skype or Facebook Messenger, alongside pre-recorded video and photo similar to Snapchat. It will also feature traditional text messaging similar to most apps, to be an all-in-one service for messaging people.
This will be focused at teenagers who have made Snapchat extremely popular and it is clear Yahoo wants a slice of the action. The reason behind this is that the younger demographic is a lot easier to target than the older generation, who make up most of Yahoo Mail and Search users.
The group messaging app will take a lot of reference from BeamIt, a startup Yahoo acquired in November 2014. It features a pseudo-social network inside a messaging app, allowing multiple users to be connected in this private service.
Yahoo could utilise the messaging service in the same way, but also integrate business functionality allowing employees of a company to message one another within a walled garden. This would offer a fun and personal interface while at work, although Yahoo does not seem keen on exploring enterprise.
These two messaging apps should be a decent way for Yahoo to regain its exposure in the world of mobile, if one of them becomes successful. Several of Yahoo’s iOS and Android apps have been featured on the iOS and Google Play App Store, showing beautiful app design and functionality.
Adding millions of potential messaging users also increases the chances of long term advertising. Yahoo might also be able to work on new monetisation routes through stickers and other optional features inside the messaging client.
Facebook even launched Messenger Platform earlier this year, creating an app store within an app. It allows third-party developers to create over-the-top experiences inside Messenger, which users can download.