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Yahoo users have no need to panic

Sharon Gaudin | July 27, 2016
Some say Verizon acquisition could mean a rebirth instead of a death

For Yahoo's stalwart users, the company's acquisition should not usher in any dramatic changes in the near future.

Actually, some industry analysts say people using Yahoo Mail, its search engine or its news page now may feel more secure, and that services are unlikely to disappear from lack of funding or lack of corporate interest anytime soon.

However, for a company that has become a decided B-list player after once being an Internet pioneer, changes to Yahoo may be akin to a tree falling in a forest when there's no one there to hear it.

"In a lot of ways, the removal of Yahoo as a destination on the Internet is like removing your hand from a swimming pool -- it just doesn't really make much difference," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "In the short term, it's just another day for Yahoo users... I think there will be some pruning over time, taking out some of the services that overlap, like email, for example. However, I think it will be a gentle transition for the vast majority of users."

Shar VanBoskirk, an analyst with Forrester Research, noted that the user experience may very well improve for Yahoo users and Verizon subscribers as the two companies are integrated.

"I wouldn't think of this as the death of Yahoo, but rather as a much-needed rebirth," said VanBoskirk. It's going to join "an ecosystem which can access users offline and via mobile. This extends Yahoo's reach and allows it even richer audience profiles to target ads against. If done right, this deal gives Yahoo a platform to be the powerhouse media company that it couldn't manage to be on its own."

Verizon Communications is buying Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.8 billion, the companies announced this week.

The acquisition has Verizon scooping up Yahoo's 1 billion monthly active users, Internet properties and applications like search and email, along with its advertising systems.

It's a sign pointing to the end of the road for a company that has been struggling for years to once again be a critical online player in a world where it was eclipsed by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Four years ago, the company hired former Google executive Marissa Mayer to take over as CEO.

Yahoo's board had high hopes that Mayer, who was the company's third CEO in less than a year, would come in with fresh ideas and fresh energy and reinvigorate the company.

That, though, just wasn't to be .

Now Yahoo will be folded into Verizon.

That leaves the question as to what will become of the Yahoo properties and services that people have been using for years.

 

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