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New book details Marissa Mayer’s struggles to save Yahoo 

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Marissa-mayer
When Marissa Mayer showed up for her first day of work at Yahoo on the morning of July 17, 2012, she was greeted by the company’s shy cofounder David Filo, who made a show of unrolling a “large purple carpet” to lead Mayer into the office building. After walking through the doors, she saw signs welcoming her, a crowd of employees gathered to greet her and loads of gifts inside her office.

Business executives and politicians, including a White House official, had left voicemail messages to congratulate the new Yahoo CEO. NBC’s Today wanted an interview. Employees greeted her like a savior, with one hanging a poster of Mayer’s face above the word “Hope,” imitating the famous Shepard Fairey illustration of Barack Obama.

Everyone seemed fascinated in and optimistic about the smart, young, tech-savvy former Google executive who had just been added to the far too short list of women running multi-billion-dollar public tech companies. But like all honeymoons, this one wouldn’t last.

In Marissa Mayer and The Fight to Save Yahoo!, a new book out this week, Business Insider‘s chief correspondent Nicholas Carlson offers the captivating inside story of Mayer’s rise at Google, the hype around her hiring at Yahoo and the missteps in her first two years as CEO that raised concerns among employees and investors alike. [Full disclosure: Carlson was my boss when I worked at Business Insider.]

The book, which began as a long feature article published in 2013, was done without the cooperation of Mayer or Yahoo and is instead based on interviews with friends, teachers and colleagues from Yahoo and Google. It presents Mayer as a very smart — though perhaps not quite visionary — executive who struggles to relate to people and relies heavily on data, except when it matters most.

Mayer pushed to hire big name media personalities like Katie Couric and expand into more premium content without any evidence that such moves would connect with Yahoo’s audience. Several of the top executives she hired were people who reached out to her rather than the other way around. One of those, Henrique De Castro, talked a particularly good game and was apparently hired for a huge sum of money without being vetted at all by Mayer’s Yahoo. He completely failed to boost display ad sales and was ultimately pushed out of the company after just 15 months, costing the company tens of millions.

To her credit, Mayer succeeded in reenergizing Yahoo employees, speeding up product development and devoting more attention to mobile, an area that was sorely lacking in resources prior to her arrival. But as Carlson explains, her decision to implement a controversial employee review system cut into morale and the products she pushed failed to offset declines in Yahoo’s ad sales and search market share.

Throughout her first two years as CEO, Mayer’s success or failures didn’t matter all that much. Yahoo’s stock continued to trend up thanks to an investment years earlier in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, which finally went public in September 2014. That IPO gives Mayer more cash to play with, but there is little left to camouflage the struggles in Yahoo’s core business.

For now, Mayer and her team continue to work to improve ad revenue, improve its existing product lineup and ideally find a new breakthrough product to help make Yahoo relevant again. As Carlson explains, though, that is a Herculean task.

“Ultimately, Yahoo suffers from the fact that the reason it ever succeeded in the first place was because it solved a global problem that lasted for only a moment. The early Internet was hard to use, and Yahoo made it easier. Yahoo was the Internet,” Carlson writes. “Then the Internet was flooded with capital and infinite solutions for infinite problems, and the need for Yahoo faded. The company hasn’t found its purpose since.”

Over the years, a successful Hollywood executive, a brassy self-made woman and one the company’s founders have all tried and largely failed to achieve that mission. If Mayer does end up failing, at least she will be in good company.

source:http://mashable.com/2015/01/06/marissa-mayer-book/?utm_cid=mash-com-li-main-link

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Internet

Instagram is working on a new messaging app

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Rivaling Snapchat, Threads will enable users to automatically share their location, movements, and battery life with their IG ‘close friends’ list

Now Facebook is a wasteland for your racist aunt and high school friends’ wedding photos, the platform is determined to maintain its social media stronghold via Instagram and WhatsApp (sorry, ‘Instagram and WhatsApp from Facebook’). Its latest venture? A new messaging app called Threads.

As reported by The Verge, Threads will be a companion app to Instagram, promoting constant sharing between users and their IG ‘close friends’ list. The app will enable people to automatically share their location, movements, and battery life with each other, as well as send text, photo, and video messages.

The development could be seen as another attempt to rival Snapchat – which already lets users share their location – following Instagram’s introduction of Stories three years ago.

Instagram has been trying to develop the messaging side of its app since late 2017 when the company started working on Direct, a standalone camera-first app exclusively for DMs. The platform ceased work in May this year after research revealed users found it frustrating to switch apps when they wanted to send a message – although this is exactly what happened with Facebook Messenger in 2016.

Screenshots acquired by The Verge show that users have the option to switch on automatic sharing, but are also able to update their statuses manually. Although Threads encourages friends to share their location with one another, it will reportedly show updates like ‘on the move’, rather than a real-time location.

The app’s main feed will show all messages, as well as friends’ updates and active status, and will allow users to watch their close friends’ IG stories as opposed to having to go back to Instagram to view them.

This announcement comes after a number of updates to the platform, including the removal of likesan anti-bullying feature, and a tool to report fake news. Although, there’s currently no launch date for Threads, and given Instagram’s history with fucked-up trials, it may never even materialise.

Source: https://www.dazeddigital.com/science-tech/article/45768/1/instagram-facebook-new-social-media-messaging-app-threads-to-rival-snapchat

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Massive change coming to WhatsApp with introduction of ads

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WhatsApp will see a massive change by 2020 with the introduction of adverts into the instant messaging app.

It’s been rumoured for a while and now WhatsApp looks set to finally bring adverts to its popular messaging app.

The Facebook-owned firm revealed the news during its annual Marking Summit in the Netherlands, with a rollout expected next year.

Photos of the way these new adverts will look have even been posted online with attendee Olivier Ponteville, giving fans a closer look at what’s to come.

The image, which can be seen on Twitter, shows how ads currently appear on Facebook and Instagram with a WhatsApp screenshot then revealed with a full-screen advert.

According to technology website BGR, once the message appears users will be able to “swipe up when an ad appears for more information about the product or service being advertised.”

Adverts in WhatsApp have been spoken about for a while but this is the first evidence that things are changing within the popular service.

How fans react is yet to been seen but it’s unlikely to go down well with its billions of users.

The bad news is that it seems there’s nothing that can be done to stop this new feature from arriving within the app.

It seems almost certain that there will be no way to switch them off or hide these paid-for messages which may prove to be hugely irritating.

Source: https://www.thenewsguru.com/technology/internet/article/massive-change-coming-whatsapp-introduction-ads/

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Facebook Messenger finally adds quoted replies

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Today Facebook Messenger has added a sorely missing feature – quoted replies. This allows you to reply to a specific message in a conversation, and is incredibly helpful when you’re engaged in chats that have a big range of topics. Using the new feature, the people you’re talking to will now know exactly what you were replying to with that “LOL”, for example.

This has been a feature in WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, for a very long time, and it’s always been sort of a baffling omission in Messenger. So it’s good to finally see it there too.

In order to quote a specific message, long tap on it and you’ll see a new Reply button to the right of the reaction emojis. Tap that, write your reply, and, just like in WhatsApp, the message you’re replying to will appear above your reply. Easy. This potentially means you’ll have less misunderstandings with your friends as to which message was referencing what.

The feature is rolling out now on both iOS and Android.

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