Yahoo slims down, again, trashing Deals, SMS Alerts

The products are axed as part of Yahoo's larger rebuilding plan

By Zach Miners, IDG News Service |  Internet

Yahoo is giving itself a bit of a makeover. Earlier this week it launched two new mobile apps for email and weather; now it's ditching numerous longstanding products, including Deals and SMS Alerts, in an attempt to sharpen its focus, the company announced Friday.

Effective April 30, the following products will be no more: Upcoming, an event discovery service; Deals, for finding bargains, coupons and retail sales; SMS Alerts, which lets users stay up-to-date on a slew of topics; Kids, which features games and educational resources; and Yahoo's Mail and Messenger apps for feature phones.

Also, as of June 3, the older versions of Yahoo Mail, including Yahoo Mail Classic, will no longer be available, the company said. In their stead, users can switch to Yahoo's new Mail system, "which is fast and easier to use," Yahoo said.

The moves are all part of the company's ongoing efforts to restructure its product offerings in a bid to re-engage users in an era of smartphones, always-connected mobile devices and social apps. Yahoo, unlike Google, Facebook, Twitter or Apple, does not currently have any dedicated social network or mobile devices of its own.

Still, the company is committed to demonstrating value to users, even when it means getting rid of less popular products. Just last month, Yahoo also scrapped more than half a dozen other media products, including Avatars, Yahoo Clues and Yahoo Sports IQ.

"Like we announced last month, we want to bring you experiences that inspire and entertain you every day," Yahoo's Jay Rossiter, executive vice president, platforms, wrote in a blog post. "That means taking a hard look at all of our products to make sure they are still central to your daily habits," he wrote.

And, "by making tough decisions like these we can focus our energy on building beautiful products for you like the two we introduced this week," he added. Those two, the Weather app for iPhone, iPod and iPod Touch, and the Mail app for iPad and Android tablets, were unveiled Thursday. Both apps are designed to provide a cleaner, more visually engaging experience than what users may have been used to previously.

Yahoo's efforts may be paying off. On Twitter, some users have already fully embraced the new mobile weather app.

"Yahoo's iPhone weather app is beautiful, love that Marissa Mayer is raising the bar," one person tweeted on Friday.

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