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
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Nov 2015 @ 12:40pm

    Re:

    Yahoo destroyed Rocketmail just like Microsoft destroyed Hotmail and Google is now destroying YouTube by trying to turn it into a Netflix clone for its lame tweenage video bloggers. It's gotten to the point where cancer is more palatable than John Green's hysterical fan club.

    I think the moral of this story is that mega-corporations buying up mom & pop businesses end up destroying those properties. By gorging on smaller IP like a food addict at the buffet table, they make themselves so big and overvalued that they don't have to give a rat's tail about negative reactions from their customer base.

    What I wouldn't give for the good old days of small and independent developers who acquired dedicated user bases through listservs and user groups like BMUG, and by offering demo disks in the back of Macworld and PC Magazine. But, alas, those were the good old days before the uber-corporatization of everything and the Eternal September. (The Internet one *before* 2001 -- ironically, around the time Yahoo went online.)

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