Monthly active users are a fine metric, but Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wants to grow the number of people who touch her company’s products daily. To do that, she’s considering messaging.
“We want fewer tourists and more fanatics, [people] who are using the product all the time,” she said during today’s fourth quarter earnings call. She hinted that a way to build that kind of engagement is through communications tools like messaging apps. While Mayer acknowledged the company’s existing messenger service, she talked about increasing Yahoo’s overall communications offerings.
A dive into messaging wouldn’t be surprising. The company has already expressed interest in messaging services — most recently in the form of two acquisitions.
In October, Yahoo purchased MessageMe for tens of millions of dollars (an exact figure hasn’t been reported). The messaging app garnered attention for its capability to send a wide range of content, including photos, songs, audio spots, videos, and doodles. A month or so later, Yahoo scooped up a startup called Cooliris, which had the photo-messaging app Beamit.
So far, nothing has been officially announced about Yahoo’s move to create a messaging app. But with these two companies in hand, it seems like an obvious move forward for Yahoo to create a multimedia messaging service to replace its dated instant messenger — especially if it’s after engagement.
One of the largest growing digital product categories is messaging. Facebook’s WhatsApp has over 700 million users, while Chinese competitor WeChat boasts 468 million. And as Facebook as shown these numbers can drive revenue. Last quarter, Facebook reported that since launching app install ads in 2013, users had downloaded 350 million apps.
Messaging is an area that many companies have their eye on — why not Yahoo? But with all the top companies and a smattering of small startups already running in the race, it will mean fierce competition for market share.