Has Ross Levinsohn put his first stamp on Yahoo as CEO? Yahoo is shutting down Livestand, its mobile newsstand app, only a little more than six months after it launched, the company just announced.
"Platform consolidation enables us to put many Yahoo properties onto common key platforms and technologies to make everything more scalable and nimble," the company said in an emailed copy of a blog post that just went live. "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."
Livestand first launched in November with a mix of Yahoo content and content from third-party publishers. It was the recipient of good user reviews, but had trouble gaining significant traction as a late arriver to the crowded field of social-news apps led by the startup Flipboard (which has recently been thrown around as a possible acquisition target of Yahoo's). In recent months, ad execs told Ad Age that Yahoo was not accepting advertising for the app. When Livestand launched, Ad Age reported that Yahoo was asking up to $500,000 for some ad packages.
In today's announcement, Yahoo said it is moving to a "mobile-products-first development model," and cited the just-released Yahoo Axis search app, which has thus far received positive initial reviews in the tech press, as an example of that (Axis can also be used as a browser plug-in for desktop use). What that new strategy really means, and whether it will be more successful than other recent Yahoo strategies, remains to be seen.