Just 6 months after opening shop, Yahoo! has decided to shut down its news aggregator, Flipboard for iPad competitor, Livestand. The news app provided content from Yahoo! and many of its verticals, like Forbes and the NFL. It was aimed to be a competitor to Flipboard and Zite on the iPad, and it even customized your story preferences based on your Facebook activity and your reading habits. The app didn't receive a huge amount of success, though. It had an average rating of 4 stars on the iOS App Store with reviews coming in from about 1900 users. Compare that to the 4.5 star average rating that Flipboard has from about 154,682 reviews. Zite has a 4.5 star average rating from about 5606 user reviews.
Yahoo! shuts shop on Livestand
The reason Yahoo! shut down Livestand, as they've mentioned in a blog post, is consolidation. The blog post says, “As announced during our most recent earnings call, we’ve decided to discontinue or consolidate a number of products across Yahoo!'s technology platforms over the course of 2012. Platform consolidation enables us to put many Yahoo! properties onto common key platforms and technologies to make everything more scalable and nimble. And when we discontinue products, it will be so that we can focus on opportunities where we lead and where we can create the most meaningful experiences for people using our products, and for our partners, developers and advertisers. One of the first decisions we've made along these lines is to discontinue our personalized digital newsstand app, Livestand for iPad.“
Yahoo! is now focusing their efforts on mobile first projects, like their recently launched browser, Axis. Yahoo! says that their biggest focus right now is going to be the smart device user, whether he or she uses an iPhone or an iPad, iOS or Android, or mobile webs and browsers for that matter. Yahoo! says that Livestand taught them how to make HTML5 media properties for these smart devices.
Yahoo! recently had scandal issues on their home turf when their CEO, Scott Thompson presented his university degree falsely and then blamed the error on a head hunter. Yahoo! then issued a statement saying that Thompson had left the company for “personal reasons”. In this consolidation effort, Yahoo! says they will either discontinue or consolidate their product, which stems from an initiative that Thompson had started to re-allocate resources to key products. The CEO that's currently in interim, Ross Levinsohn is obviously pushing this initiative forward. Part of this is pushing Yahoo! content through the Axis app. These search results also heavily favour Yahoo! content, like Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Sports.