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Yahoo unveils Livestand, products for tablets, other mobile devices

November 2, 2011 | 12:21 pm

Yahoo, looking to compete with Google and Facebook for eyeballs and advertising dollars, held its annual product runway event on Wednesday to offer a sneak peek of upcoming products.

The struggling Internet giant is pressing forward even as it faces an uncertain future. In a prolonged financial funk, Yahoo fired its embattled chief executive, Carol Bartz, in September.

Yet its products are still some of the most popular on the Web. And, despite all the upheaval, Yahoo is following a product plan it laid out a year ago that emphasizes the growing popularity of tablets and other mobile devices to consume digital content.

LivestandChief among Yahoo's new products is magazine software for Apple's iPad called Livestand that pulls content and video from newspapers, magazines and other publishers that appeal to users' interests. It's similar to the magazine apps from Flipboard and AOL's Editions.

Yahoo is looking to reach consumers who are increasingly accessing digital content on tablets and other mobile devices to bring in more advertising revenue.

Yahoo had hoped to roll out the app in June.

The other new products that Yahoo debuted Wednesday included an IntoNow iPad app for television viewing, Yahoo weather for Android, Yahoo mail for the iPad and some new social features.

Yahoo's chief product officer, Blake Irving, took the stage to introduce the products. He also tried to set the record straight on what Yahoo is (a subject that has bedeviled him and other Yahoo executives in the past). Irving, who joined Yahoo from Microsoft in 2010, said there is "very little confusion" about the subject now.

"What is Yahoo? Simple. It's the premier digital media company. Period. Stop," Irving said. 

Yahoo may sell its Asian assets and distribute the proceeds to shareholders rather than selling itself, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg last week. The company may also let buyers take a minority stake in the company or buy it outright, the people said.


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-- Jessica Guynn

Image: Livestand. Credit: Yahoo