On Wednesday, Yahoo will tell some mobile phone owners that it's pulling the plug on the mobile app called Yahoo Go (video). Yahoo Go was Yahoo's all-in-one native app of Yahoo services for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and Symbian phones, since January 2006. It gathers together Yahoo's services around a rotating carousel motif, the application's start page.
Yahoo Go, which first emerged at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2006, was full of content--but information was buried and the app wasn't intuitive to customize. Yahoo pretty much halted work after January 2008 with Yahoo Go 3.0 beta, and began concentrating more on its Web portal. Yahoo's mobile-optimized Web site, m.yahoo.com, contains Yahoo Go's core features, like search, weather lookups, and RSS feeds for information like headline news and stocks. Yahoo's revamped mobile site also lets you check e-mail, send IMs, and track status updates on social networks.
Killing Yahoo Go is in line with Yahoo's mobile strategy, says Yahoo's global head of mobile product marketing, Adam Taggart. "In the past 18 months, browser quality has been increasing at an accelerated rate. We've doubled down on our mobile Web strategy."
While Yahoo pours resources into streamlining its mobile Web presence, it also continues to release Yahoo Mobile applications for some mobile platforms, like the iPhone. On top of Yahoo Mobile are more focused standalone applications. iPhone owners interested in stocks can download the Yahoo Finance app, for example. Sports enthusiasts have Yahoo Fantasy Football.
Support for Yahoo Go officially stops on January 12. On Wednesday, active users will see an e-mail or an update notice pushed onto the app itself that will inform them of the shut-down, and urge them to start using m.yahoo.com instead. Visiting the mobile site from some phone models will prompt a download for a compatible native app. Yahoo Mobile still isn't perfect, and it can also suffer from information overload. However, active Yahoo Go users will find that their content is intact, albeit somewhat rearranged.