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Yahoo Sheds Some Baggage

Alan Sipress

Within the last week, Yahoo has announced it's retiring a pair of its offerings: Yahoo Auctions in the United States and Canada and the Yahoo Photos service. Both had fallen far behind other choices on the Web.

The auction site has failed to make inroads against eBay, which has long had online auctions locked up. The photo site, meantime, has proven a poor alternatives to Flickr, a photo-sharing site snatched up by Yahoo itself two years ago.

The decisions to shutter these two sites were not unrelated. Nor are they isolated incidents. They fit into Yahoo efforts unveiled in December to reorganize the company, shuffle management and make up ground on Internet rival, Google.

"Yahoo is continuing to realign our resources to focus on core strategic priorities," company spokeswoman Meagan Busath said in explaining the photo and auction decisions. "We're repositioning some of our products."

In the case of Yahoo Photos, Busath said the company realized users were no longer content simply to preserve their digital memories but wanted the kind of Web 2.0 capability to share them in a social networking context. Flickr fit that description. Yahoo now plans in the coming months to help its users move their photos over.

But what Yahoo executives really have in mind when they speak of core priorities is more than Flickr. Most of all it's Panama, the new online advertising program that Yahoo is banking on to counter Google. So far, Panama's performance is disappointing. But Yahoo executives say the contest for online advertising dollars is still in the early rounds.

By Alan Sipress  |  May 10, 2007; 10:12 AM ET  | Category:  Alan Sipress
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What are your thoughts on the options that they have provided for migration? Why would they announce the closing without already having the migration options ready to go?

Posted by: Matt | May 10, 2007 3:14 PM

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