Andy Abramson reads some reasonably definitive tea leaves and concludes that Yahoo! is de-emphasizing the Yahoo! Voice component of Yahoo! Messenger. Yahoo! Phone In, which I show you above, is an example of a Yahoo! Voice service.
The ultimate manifestation of that de-emphasis would be the removal of the voice component from Yahoo! Messenger moving Y!M back in time to an IM service with at most,voice between users.
Andy believes the root cause of this is a realization on the part of top Yahoo! execs that to market Yahoo! Messenger's PSTN component too aggressively would run the risk of inflaming a long-established partnership with AT&T that goes back to the SBC days.
I'm now reading the a just-issued Yahoo! press release that to me, offers tacit but significant confirmation of what Andy and me are saying.
The release, entitled Yahoo! Re-Aligns Organization to More Effectively Focus on Key Customer Segments and Capture Future Growth Opportunities, offers a broad but sometimes specific peek at those Yahoo! priorities that will be substantially re-energized by the division of the company's core structure into three new groups.
That'd be the Audience Group, Advertiser&Publisher Group, and Technology Group.
When I first read this release and saw the Technology Group would be one of these three entities, I thought that there would be some mention of IM and voice in there.
Let's read this small section. Then I will elaborate.
Technology Group -- Yahoo!'s industry-leading technology group, headed by Chief Technology Officer Farzad Nazem, will continue to support the entire organization. In addition to closer engineering integration within product teams, Yahoo! will concentrate key engineering talent and shift investment towards the development of high-impact, scalable, global platforms and infrastructures to help capture the most significant long-term growth opportunities. For example, the group will be chartered with leveraging Yahoo!'s platform investments in community to create the technology platforms for new social media environments. In addition, it will have a mandate to speed the development of innovative, next generation advertising platforms beyond Project Panama to support the expansion of Yahoo!'s global advertising network. Yahoo! also remains committed to developers and its specific focus on advanced product development.It seems that what really matters to the Technology Group are social media and next-generation ad platforms. Yes, you could say that the very generic reference "advanced product development" encompasses a continued dedication to Yahoo! Messenger With Voice, but that would be reading too much into it.