Yahoo Messenger Head Fake? It's Not About The Price...

from the what's-happening-here? dept

Funny... we thought that Yahoo had announced their Yahoo-messenger-as-Skype-killer offering back in December. However, today they're getting more life out of the story by launching the beta along pretty much the same lines they had outlined before. As we noted at the time, this shouldn't be about "cheap calls." That's not a differentiation battle that can be won -- it's simply a race to the bottom. That's why it's a bit surprising to see Yahoo Veep Brad Garlinghouse say to the press that their differentiation is "aggressive pricing." That's not an advantage for long, and the folks at Yahoo must know that. It seems there may be two reasons for this statement, however. First, is that it's an easy "hook" for the press to get -- and they need one for a product like this. So, focusing on the cheap calls gets people to write about you. Second, and more interesting (if true!), is that this is really about Yahoo trying to head fake the competition into believing this really is going to be about price, while Yahoo actually recognizes that VoIP is just a feature of a more integrated personal communications platform. Given everything that the company is integrating into messenger, this makes a lot more sense. They're trying to make Yahoo messenger your "console" for communications (not just online communications). That's a lot more interesting and powerful than starting up yet another price war over cheap calls. Of course, focusing too much on the cheap calls aspect may mean that users don't see the overall advantages either... Cheap calls are great for a segment of the population, but for many people it competes with folks who have flat-rate calling for most domestic calls via VoIP or huge buckets of "free" minutes on mobile phones. "Cheap" calls still represent an incremental cost over bundled calls.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread



Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.