Blog Post

Yahoo buys Aviate, focuses on context and content on mobiles

The reinvention of Yahoo continues and it’s all about surfacing content on mobiles. The comany announced several app and digital initiatives Tuesday at CES including the purchase of Aviate, a contextual-based mobile app. Yahoo is also creating digital magazines and aims to help information overload through a new Yahoo News Digest app for mobiles.

Aviate Yahoo

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer introduced the initiatives with a clear emphasis on mobiles. All of the most-used mobile activities — think mail, video, photos, news and weather — are NOW the pillars of Yahoo. Of course, there’s the potential for information overload, so Yahoo is introducing a new Yahoo News Digest application.

The app provides a news summary twice a day: morning and evening. Content comes from various sources and is powered by Summly, which Yahoo purchased last year. In addition to the news, readers can see related “atoms”: videos, infographics, relevant Tweets and more.

Also helping to provide focused content are new Yahoo Digital Magazines. These web-based periodicals were created in-house, with the first two being Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech. The interfaces allow for all content on a single page with stories that expand so readers can pick up the next stories when finishing one. David Pogue and a number of industry writers will create content for Yahoo Tech, which launches today. Weekly columns will be supplemented with daily news, device reviews and tech solutions.

Yahoo Tech

The purchase of Aviate is surprising; not because of what the app does, but by how quickly Yahoo nabbed it. Aviate is still in private beta; the app is a home screen launcher that changes what apps are available based on context such as location or time of day. Yahoo is expanding the beta to 25,000 more people who use the code “Yahoo” to get the app.

Yahoo’s mobile and content focus make sense to me. Mayer has stepped in to lead a company without focus at a time where mobile content consumption is rapidly rising. Although smartphones and tablets are hot now, Yahoo expects 3.8 billion mobile devices in use by 2017. By creating original content and curating useful information from the outside, Mayer is giving people a reason to use Yahoo again.

5 Responses to “Yahoo buys Aviate, focuses on context and content on mobiles”

  1. John Ira Edwards

    I am sorry, but since the thug-like way the new (and user-unfriendly) yahoo mail was forced on me as a consumer, I find myself rebelling against all things Yahoo at this point. The little man doesn’t like to be shoved into something he doesn’t want.

  2. Zhiyong Wang

    Though it sounds very cool, I am cautious of “intelligent”/”smart” stuff.

    I would be worried that Aviate will change my phone too much.
    I would prefer to accept/decline the suggestion Aviate will make.
    For example, rather than passively wait for a possible result, users are more willing to hand pick stuff, as seen Visummly (an android app allowing users extract frames from a video and organize them into a collage).

  3. Yahoo bought like a year ago one of the best photo apps there was, Kitcam. It was yanked from the app store irritating users who paid for it and still hasn’t resurfaced.
    I installed the News Digest app because was impressed when they presented it at CES, bestI I ve seen so far from Yahoo but other than that it is just meh…