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. identicon
    Beech, 23 Nov 2015 @ 2:18pm

    Niche audience

    Look, Yahoo used to be one of THE companies on the internet. They were huge. They got supplanted. What are they going to do? Once facebook started taking users from myspace, did myspace ever bounce back? Did dig? Ask Jeeves? Hotmail? Once a huge player in the internet gets supplanted there is just about 0 precedence for them to make a comeback.

    So what to do? Yahoo isn't going to regain the number of users they lost. It's just not in the cards. And I'm sure the stock holders don't want to just give up and liquidate the company.

    The only way for them to cling to what relevance they have is to do what this site CONSTANTLY suggest companies do (even in this very article), try a new business model! Yahoo, while possibly alienating some of their "mainstream" user base, is trying something NEW by going after a niche target audience. I'm sure all the S&M fans out there who just LOVE being treated like trash will be flocking to the new-and-improved, advertising mandatory, yahoo.com

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