Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer unveils the search giant’s new future: Four gems from her speech

Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer delivered a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show conference in Las Vegas yesterday, cementing the search giant’s new direction as a media content-making business.

Since Mayer’s appointment in 2012, shareholder and consumer opinion of Yahoo! has been on the up, with stock boosting nearly threefold. Rather than being viewed as a poor cousin to Google, it is forging ahead in terms of acquisitions, news and content production and enhancing the user experience.

Mayer’s speech reiterated the company’s plans to become a world-leading news content provider, and unveiled new launches and a key acquisition.

Here are four gems from her speech to take away.

1. “We’ve acquired Aviate”

“As we look to the future of mobile, we imagine home screens should be smarter and more personalised,” said Mayer.

“Imagine that your home could deliver the right experience to you at the right time instead of you having to search for it.

“What if your phone suggested music and map apps when you got into your car, or fitness apps when you got to the gym or when you went for a run. Aviate does just that. Automatically organising your apps based on contextual clues, bringing you what you need, when you need it.

“Like Yahoo!, Aviate is focused on daily habits. Let’s say you check Yahoo! finance every morning. With Aviate, you could wake up to a home screen of stock quotes, rather than having to search for or scroll for a specific app.”

2. Yahoo! as news maker

“As many of you know, we announced in November that award winning journalist, author and TV host Katie Couric will be joining Yahoo! as our global anchor,” said Mayer.

Couric joined Mayer on stage, and said: “I think one of the most exciting things for me personally at Yahoo! is that it really is a blank slate, as many of you know I really enjoy interviewing, so I am very excited at the prospect of interviewing newsmakers, politicians, sports people, philanthropists, anyone who we believe has an important and interesting story to tell.”

3. Yahoo! launches News Digest

Yahoo! product manager Nick D’Aloisio stepped on stage to announce the launch of Yahoo! News Digest.

Australian born D’Aloisio was just 17 last year when Yahoo! acquired his app, upon which News Digest is based. 

“I’m really excited to announce a new product today. It’s called Yahoo! News Digest, and at its core, it simplifies news and eliminates the problem of information overload,” D’Aloisio said.

“Yahoo! News Digest, our new product, provides you with two daily summaries, or digests. One in the morning and one in the evening. They both contain all the important news. The stories are algorithmically produced but editorially curated, demonstrating the perfect blend between technology and journalism.”

4. Yahoo! takes on the tech mag world

“Today I am excited to announce that David Pogue, the award winning tech columnist, best-selling author and TV host will lead our tech magazine,” said Mayer.

Pogue joined Mayer on stage to unveil the online publication, and launch it live.

“This is yahoo.com/tech. At Yahoo! Tech, first of all we have a language we are going to speak,” Pogue said. “It is called English, it is called human. It’s absolutely gorgeous; it is like nothing out there.”

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