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Yahoo! CEO Plans To Trim Mobile Apps Portfolio

Yahoo! Inc.'s (YHOO) Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer on Tuesday reiterated her view on the opportunities and challenges facing the Internet major. According to Mayer, mobile is the future of Yahoo!.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, Mayer stated that her vision for the company includes reducing the number of mobile apps from more than 60 in its portfolio at present. She hopes to cut app offerings down to the dozen or so applications that people use all the time on their phone.

Mayer also hopes that Yahoo! can foster a closer relationship with Facebook Inc. (FB), as the social network giant is one of the most-used apps on mobile devices.

Yahoo!'s many key services, including Mail and Search, have been losing market share and the company had been generating flat or lower revenues.

In its recently concluded fourth quarter, however, Yahoo! saw a four percent growth in revenues on strength in its Search business, a sign that the company is sprucing up under Mayer.

Mayer said, "Our biggest problem is impressions. The way to grow revenue is to grow usage or prices. We're successfully growing prices … we need to grow usage."

Mayer noted that Yahoo! could grow usage by succeeding through apps on mobile devices. The company also will help its large PC-based sites such as Yahoo! Groups and Yahoo! Mail to be stronger on mobile devices.

Citing email, weather information, news, stock quotes, etc., she said, "Yahoo! has the content that people want on their phones."

On Tuesday, the company announced its third acquisition in the mobile sector in four months, acquiring Alike, an app that offers recommendations for restaurants and other nearby offerings based on previously stated preferences.

Talking about Yahoo!'s alliance with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), in which Microsoft's Bing search engine powers the Web searches and search-ads on Yahoo! sites, Mayer said there have been nice gains in the revenue generated for every search done on Yahoo! sites, but the alliance hasn't taken the market share from Google. Rather, Bing.com has taken share away from Yahoo! Search.

"We collectively need to grow share rather than trade share between us," Mayer said, noting that the key to doing that was innovation in user experience, or how the search results appear.

Yahoo! shares closed Tuesday's trading at $21.21, up $0.31 or 1.48 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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