Content is still king and Yahoo wants to serve its audience with new content through two new portals. The company's chief executive announced at CES 2014 on Tuesday the launch of Yahoo Tech and Yahoo Food. The new tech and food-focused websites form part of Yahoo Digital Magazines that will be featured on Yahoo News and make use of the Tumblr platform.
As part of the build up to create new materials, Yahoo engaged in a hiring spree to get some of the biggest names in the journalism world. It took The New York Times award-winning technology columnist David Pogue on board to take helm of Yahoo Tech. Likewise, Yahoo Food will make sure its offerings will sift through every nook and cranny of the web by hiring managing editor Sarah McColl and journalists from Huffington Post Food and Bon Appetit.
"Yahoo is about making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining, and there are few places as inspiring and entertaining as CES. We have been hard at work re-imagining Yahoo's core businesses across search, communications, media and video - all powered by two powerful platforms, Flickr and Tumblr," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said at the Yahoo keynote at the ongoing CES 2014 tech expo in Las Vegas.
"We found our inspiration in magazines. They are elegant, they are beautiful. They have a distinctive editorial voice. And then we began to wonder what would happen when we combine the elegance of magazines with the vast resources of the Internet to create a completely new product," Mayer said.
Yahoo Tech will be geared to demystify consumers about technologies and guide them on what things to buy and how to use them.
"Everyone here at CES is a gearhead. You know what a Snapdragon processor is, you care about BuzzFeed, you have a Google+ account," Pogue said. "But the rest of the country is struggling."
"I don't know how normal people are supposed to keep up with it (technological progress that is becoming rhythmically faster)," Pogue continued.
There are already many consumer technology sites out there and "they're great" but the content of those sites do not answer the question of the common man who's asking, "Help! I erased my caemra's card and lost some photos. How do I get them back?," Pogue said.
Pogue also took a jab at many technology news site that focus on technology jargons e.g. "form factor" "price point" "functionality" "video content" "the user") instead of using normal 'human' words such as "size," "price," "feature," "video" and "you." "If you don't talk like that, why should you write like that," Pogue said.
"In my opinion, the point is that the high end is really well taken care of. There are many, many, many websites interested in startup funding and advanced geeky topics that 85 percent in the middle don't care about. So my question is who is taking care of the middle 85 percent? Nobody," said Pogue.
"People who buy most of the tech in the world are very smart but they are not enmeshed in this world, and they don't care about staff changes and for the most part they are uninterested in Silicon Valley.They want to know what is the best TV to buy."
Yahoo Tech, Pogue said, does not have back buttons, tabs or overlapping windows and he promised that the site will not have display ads. "There are no banners, there's nothing blinking at you. This makes me very, very happy," Pogue said, adding, "Marissa's going to explain later how we're going to make money without display ads and trust me, they have a much better way."
As for Yahoo Food, it will make culinary enthusiasts and food lovers drool about recipes, new kitchen paraphernalia, and new trends.
Yahoo Food, Mayer said, brings together "contemporary recipes, stories on the top food trends, best cooking practices and everything an at-home chef would need in order to feel inspired." The site, Mayer said, will contain immersive content and engaging videos curated from Flickr and all across the Web, led by an all-star editorial team assembled from leading culinary publications.
According to Yahoo, both digital magazines are designed to be visually appealing with tons of photos and headlines crafted for social media sharing.
"Digital magazines are a core part of our long term mission for Yahoo's media business. Every Yahoo digital magazine will be anchored by category tastemakers, visual-driven story-telling, and engaging accordion-style layout," Mayer said.
Forrester Research analyst David Cooperstein sees the move of Yahoo as a bold one and that it might appeal to advertisers looking to attract the mainstream audience.
"[Yahoo] is taking the road not yet traveled. The other folks - Google and Facebook - are more reliant on audience participation to grow content," Cooperstein said.