Yahoo and Nokia Sync on Maps and More

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Yahoo and Nokia Sync on Maps and More

Yahoo is a web powerhouse in terms of page views - ranked number four in the world by While the company seems to get a fraction of the press that Google gets - and more recently less than Twitter and Facebook as well, it is an integral player in not only the web but the mobile web. Again, another area where Yahoo seems to be more successful than the media would indicate.

Alexa, May 25, 2010

According to M:Metrics in a study which took place last August, Yahoo reaches 35 million mobile unique users per month. And the company's mobile growth is not surprising given how popular it is on desktops - over the past two years the company has seen use of its home page on mobiles grow by 3 times. Part of the success has to do with the fact that the company has worked hard to make its content available to as many people as possible, now in 32 markets around the world; on more than 1,900 devices.

To further the company's growth in mobile devices, Yahoo has partnered with Nokia to integrate the Finnish company's maps into its services on an exclusive basis. In addition, Yahoo will become the exclusive provider of Nokia's Ovi mail and Ovi Chat. Finally, the companies will further work together to provide federation of user IDs between networks.

This new partnership is smart for Nokia as it positions it well against Apple and Google - adding value and getting its maps out to a larger audience. For Yahoo, the opportunity to become entrenched on more mobile devices makes for a good strategic move.

It would be editorial malpractice for me to not address the overall challenges and perception of challenges which Yahoo now faces. Bartz has been on the job for 15 months and seems to have trouble articulating what the vision of the company is. In a recent interview she had this to say about her company when being interviewed by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington:

Yahoo is a great company that is very, very strong in content for its users. It uses amazing technology to serve up what we increasingly think is going to be the Web of One.

To me, this sounds like jibberish and it should scare the crap out of investors. The answer should have been something like:

At Yahoo, we enrich the lives of our users by providing them comprehensive information and leading-edge services - allowing them to stay informed and communicate more freely.

One wonders what could be more important than a strong mission statement for a company perceived to be adrift.

To be fair, perhaps "Web of One" could be Yahoo's mission statement to be. It sounds similar to an "Army of One" used by the US government. I am not a fan of either of these slogans but if coupled with an ad campaign showing the power of Yahoo's personalized services, this may be a solid slogan after all.

It is worth noting that some call Michael Arrington abrasive because he tells it like it is. I don't know the man and feel uncomfortable saying something negative about someone I never met. Having said that, I feel I need to set the stage for this clip below where Bartz tells Arrington his company is small and he should F&^K Off.

This comment is reminiscent of Steve Jobs asking a blogger a few weeks back "What have you done that's so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others work and belittle their motivations?"

Let me respond on behalf of the journalists and bloggers - if I may. These people are the ones who allow organizations to become the companies they are. Media coverage is essential to the success of companies - absolutely essential and without the media to educate an audience, how would consumers stay informed? The media has a responsibility to be critical as well as positive - that is what readers demand. Every article, blog entry and tweet is a creation and the great democracy which is the Internet determines who gets read and what gets forwarded.

Having said that, I remain impressed with Jobs and Bartz who have been candid and direct with the media - but all CEOs and everyone else should realize journalists and bloggers are representatives of their customers and denigrating the people who aid in their success is not a smart way to endear themselves to new buyers.

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