Yahoo Kills off Livestand

It took six months but Yahoo decided its Livestand newsreader will no longer be offered. Apparently the competition from Google Currents, Zite and Flipboard was too much.

I mentioned this past December that the Livestand user interface was clunky and I suppose this is what did the product in. That of course and being late to the party and seeing superior competition from Google – whose interface is better.

Think about it though – Yahoo has virtually infinite marketing real estate avaialble to it and could have made this product a success. Perhaps they decided its new Axis browser is more strategic and a better place to focus on.

Interestingly I just checked out the Yahoo blog post on the matter and they confirmed my suspicions. Here is an excerpt:

While we received great feedback on Livestand’s design and it earned a 4-star rating in the App Store, we committed ourselves to continuously measure and scrutinize what’s working and what isn’t. We have learned a lot from Livestand and are actively applying those insights toward the development of future products that are better aligned with Yahoo!’s holistic mobile strategy.

We are pivoting to a mobile-products-first development model (check out Yahoo! Axis as a great example of this) and there’s no doubt that one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, priorities for us is to innovate for the mobile user, whether they’re using feature phones, smartphones or tablets – or iOS apps, Android apps or mobile web browsers, for that matter.

We know we’re headed towards a time when people in all markets will actually use the web more on connected devices like phones, tablets, TVs, and consoles than they do on PCs. We already have millions of people using Yahoo! on mobile phones and tablets each month, and are seeing that number grow rapidly.

I have mixed emotions about Yahoo’s decision here. On the one hand Axis has tremendous potential and on the other, being the central app which people use to manage their news is important to a company looking to become more relevant in the world of mobile. But if resources are limited they made the right choice – but then again you imagine there are other places to cut besides from one of your newest apps.

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