Clinging To Relevance, Yahoo Prevents Ad Block Users From Checking Yahoo Mail

from the ingenious-strategy dept

Yahoo's been struggling for some time under the leadership of Marissa Mayer to become as relevant in the advertising and content space as contemporaries like Google and Facebook. By and large these efforts have not been going particularly well, with the mood inside the company supposedly "grim and contentious," employees frustrated with a lack of direction, heavy often-senseless micromanagement, and a "lack of a coherent strategy." A growing movement from both inside and outside of Yahoo to replace Mayer has gained momentum.

So as the company struggles for relevance this week in the face of users, employees and investors, somebody at the company apparently thought it would be a great idea to annoy a huge swath of the company's userbase. According to a growing number of Ad Block users, Yahooers this week were met with a message scolding them for using ad blocking technology and preventing them from accessing their mail through the website:
When I asked the company to confirm that this was indeed a new, ingenious business strategy, I was told it was part of a "test" for the company:
"At Yahoo, we are continually developing and testing new product experiences. This is a test we're running for a small number of Yahoo Mail users in the U.S."
Really? You're barely clinging to relevance and you think it's a great idea to begin alienating the remaining customers that haven't fled to gmail? As we've noted many, many times, there are numerous answers to dealing with ad blocking, from designing less annoying ads, to developing new business models, to giving users more control. Instead, some websites have tried to dictate to consumers what they should do with their own browsers, and in some instances punished site visitors for even talking about ad blocking whatsoever. In Yahoo's case, the decision had the expected result. It started to drive users away:
Perhaps we're all missing some subtle nuance of the plan, and Mayer somehow hopes to make Yahoo more relevant -- via the power of annoyance?

Filed Under: ad block, ad blocking, email, yahoo mail
Companies: yahoo


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  1. icon
    shanen (profile), 23 Nov 2015 @ 5:09pm

    Probably the warning on the right side?

    Hey, here's a silly idea: Why not make more valuable email by cutting the spam?

    Anyway, as regards your question, I'm pretty sure it relates to some warnings I've been getting about an ad blocker. They pop up in the right side in an area that is probably supposed to get a Flash garbage of some kind.

    Only problem is that I'm NOT using any ad blocker that I know of. Evidently something about my security settings is triggering a false alarm. Can't say I care a hill of beans, even though I still check my Yahoo email and it would cause me a tiny bit of inconvenience of Yahoo disappeared tomorrow...

    Anyway, I want to focus on the positive side, something that Yahoo (or any of the large email providers) could do for better email: Give us tools to put the spammers out of business. Obviously not possible to eliminate all spam and all insane sociopathic spammers, but we could hurt them in their most sensitive and intelligent organ, their wallets. I really want tools to help disrupt ALL of the spammers' infrastructure, pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices, and even help and protect ALL of the spammers' victims. Insofar as many of those victims are corporations like Yahoo itself, it's kind of hard for me to understand "Live and let spam" as a viable business model.

    Anyway, 'nuff said, but details available upon polite request.

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