Yahoo! Inc is an American Multinational technology company situated in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994. Yahoo! is known globally for Web search engine, web portal, Mail service, News and Articles, Finance, Groups and social media platform. At the time of beginning, Jerry and David name it “Jerry and David’s guide to world wide web”. It was a directory to the other website and was later named as YAHOO! Which means “Yet another hierarchical organized oracle”. The term was originated from the type of work as; “hierarchical” depicted the structure of database and “oracle” referred to source of truth and wisdom.
So if we sum up the meaning behind Yahoo, it says a new structure organization based on truth and wisdom. Which was further the reason behind success of Yahoo, which would be discussed in the later section. So at first it was a searching directory which later on expanded its field of work from searching to the field of connecting, bringing together people using a different platform i.e. mail, community, news and an option of commenting along. After the transformation of the company and its vision, Yahoo was in full swing in engaging audience, acquisitions and grabbing the internet domain.
Yahoo! in a swing
Moving on from the database and directory, Yahoo extended its services to engage more people around the globe. In 1995 they launched its first ever commercial website that included advertisements and news from Reuters. This website was more in the format of web portal and the future acquisitions made it clear. With the vision and quality service, in 1996 Yahoo UK was launched. A mighty step in development of the company and World Wide Web. Escalating further in 1997, the company acquired Four11. The first ever company to launch free mail service which was referred to as Rocket Mail at that moment. Yahoo incorporated Rocket Mail in Y Mail, making it far better and advanced.
Making the roots of the company stronger and firm. In 1998 they acquired Viaweb that enabled the user to make an online store using the web, which is obvious from its name via-web. After acquisition of Viaweb, Yahoo transformed into Yahoo! Store. Diversifying its services from a directory to a web portal and explosion of dot com bubble, the stocks of Yahoo reached ever high in its history before year 2000. The stocks that were sky high all the time degraded once in February 2000 when its services were halted by a DDOS attack. It was a clever move by hacker but the sailing ship managed to meet the pace again. Yahoo once a web portal started to dominate the internet media and the journey was still escalating. With the acquisition of SBC communication, HotJobs, Flickr, 40% shares in Alibaba and many more. Apart from the acquisitions, Yahoo started its own services including its own search engine, web crawler, music, research lab, DSL service in collaboration with Verizon, sms service with email and many more.
A Crash in the Journey/Deteriorating Journey
The journey was all set to boom as per the on going pace but some loopholes halted the everlasting journey. In 2004 Yahoo declined to use Google search engine and made its own search engine, making for the team difficult to manage the situation. In 2008 Microsoft made US$ 44.6 billion for Yahoo! but the company refused it. In 2009 Yahoo announced integration with Facebook connect and this was the time the pace of the game started to change once and for all. In 2010 Yahoo sued Facebook over 10 patents and Facebook counter sued Yahoo in the battle. Facebook won this battle and Yahoo started to decline. Facebook and Google took over the internet domain completely. Google being used as the best search engine and Facebook grabbing user’s attention from web portals to social media. In such disturbing situation Yahoo made 2000 job layoffs in view of saving around US$ 375 million. The company’s decline could be felt. In short Yahoo was gunned down by two of its rival, Google and Facebook: both ascendant forces. Another reason for losing the race was the trend of smartphone. In 2008 when iPhone was launched, the trend shifted to the smartphones making websites and social media platform more light and quick in response. Yahoo didn’t changed with the change in the direction of wind. Keeping the web portal in view and loading a bulk of data making it slower than the competitors.
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In 2013 Yahoo acquired Tumblr for US$1.1 billion with David Karp having most of the shares. Since the formation of Yahoo, starting from a search directory and transforming it later to the informatory website connecting millions of people around the globe. Millions of people daily visited yahoo.com in 2015. According to the article published by Business insider , the DAU’s (daily active users) on Yahoo homepage were approximated to be 56.2 million while on Yahoo Mail, the approximated DAU’s were 56.9 million and 43.5 million DAU’s on Yahoo search. Which were declined by 16.5 % of homepage, 11.5% of mail and 8% of search engine by 2014.
In the middle of 2016, the throne was flipped and Verizon that was once a concern company with Yahoo agreed to pay US$ 4.83 billion to acquire Yahoo. Yahoo lost all the way down to the ground and the deal is expected to be closed in first quarter of 2017.