Yahoo and the curated web

It’s been a hectic 18 months that Marissa Mayer has spent in charge at Yahoo. Dodgy workplace restrictions aside, the company seems to be looking towards the future in light of the acquisitions made. So much so, I’m betting that in five years time Yahoo will be an ever present in our online lives just like Twitter/Facebook. Here’s why:

Yahoo is positioning itself in the centre of the curated web.

Obviously, I think the internet is great – it’s changed our lives faster (and possibly more) than any other technology has. Trouble is: there is a ton of noise. De-cluttering your web experience is a skill in itself. I’m not just talking about your social streams; I’m talking about news sites, shopping recommendations, etc. As a geek I’m able to figure out how to lower the noise pretty well (or, in the worst case, cancel an account altogether – I’m looking at you, Google+) but your average Joe Soap ain’t no nerd.

The web is still a really young technology that we’re only beginning to figure out and up until about now it’s generally been geared towards quantity over quality. This is fine for teenagers or anyone with a lot of time on their hands but adults generally want to cut to the meat and bones of what’s happening or what they’re looking for. Enter: the curated web.

The difference between today’s web and the curated web is quality – and this is where I beliebe Yahoo is going to nail it.

Facebook is a great place to see friends’ photos but they’re mostly lousy pictures. Flickr is generally used by professionals or amateur photography enthusiasts which guarantees a higher quality. Since Mayer joined, Yahoo is turning Flickr around.

Twitter rules. It’s great for connecting with people and viewing shared articles but sometimes I prefer to read the traditional news. Unfortunately, the best news sites are generally geared to the long-form which means that it’s hard to absorb the gist of an article by reading five or ten lines. Basically, I want quality and brevity and recent Yahoo acquisition Summly does just that.

In addition to these, Yahoo has bought up a raft of social recommendation services which means their very keen to learn about what blows your hair back.

At a time where most web companies are trying to get you to spend as long on their site as possible, Yahoo’s USP is giving you just (and only just) what you need in a faster way.

Should be an interesting 48 months.

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