From the 1st of April 2013, the Yahoo! app will no longer be available on BlackBerry. Citing that Yahoo had considered various factors before making this decision, one fact remains – all Yahoo! app users on BlackBerry devices will be affected. Users who already had it can continue to use it but it will no longer be supported actively. Does this mean that the BlackBerry users who genuinely loved “Yahoo!” have no choice but to move to different devices? Is this move temporary until Yahoo is in a much better place, more focused and there’s a turn around at this web portal? Yahoo! was not the only app that was discontinued. Sports IQ, message boards and their search app were among the seven apps that were canned.
What Could The Discontinuation Mean?
The leaner Yahoo gets, the more they will start developing and publishing apps of higher quality. So even though the developers of the apps that have been canned might feel like their ‘babies’ are gone – they are being presented with an opportunity to critically look at the apps that Yahoo is likely to keep and act fast on bettering and improving those.
When a web portal the size of Yahoo restrategises on being a leaner machine, the probability of huge budgets towards the apps that they will keep are very high. So even if some of the apps they do end up deciding to keep were not well known on other devices, they will gain traction through say advertising by Yahoo itself as a publisher.
What About The User?
Since the announcement, there hasn’t been too much of an uproar from the users. This then is a good move by Yahoo because it’s a good indicator that most users on the market don’t use the app anyway. The ones who probably did will just continue using the old app until the lack of support drives them nuts and they let it go. Or it could mean that some users might start rethinking the devices they use. If the device doesn’t provide the user experience that one expects to derive from it, when it doesn’t come cheap – why not move to a different device with a better operating system. Even though BlackBerry hasn’t made a comment on this culling, it could definitely cost them a lot of sales.
At the end of the day, Yahoo is realizing that the popularity it gained when it started out is being phased out by the new world of users who want the best – not sometime but right now! Most of Yahoo users are probably senior citizens by now, who mostly aren’t very familiar with a lot of apps. So this could mean no difference at all to the market except that Yahoo gets to save money and actually focus on rebouncing back into a game that has since moved on and the rules have evolved so much more.