Today spells the beginning of the end for another batch of Yahoo products as investors put more pressure on the company to merge with AOL. Jay Rossiter, SVP of Yahoo’s cloud platform group, revealed in a Tumblr post that the Internet pioneer will be closing down Yahoo Education, Qwiki and Directory in the coming weeks and months.
Yahoo Education, a site designed to link users with education providers and content, is first up on the chopping block. As Rossiter explains, Yahoo believes users’ needs in this non-core area are already well served by alternative online resources. For this reason, they’ve elected to close the service on September 30.
This past July, Yahoo acquired startup Qwiki whose iOS app automatically creates short movies based on photos and video clips in a user’s camera roll. Starting November 1, the service will be shut down although the Qwiki team will continue to work on media projects within Yahoo.
Directory, meanwhile, is one of Yahoo’s oldest services. As the name suggests, Directory is basically a directory listing designed to help users find the types of websites they’re looking for. Years ago, services like this were a valuable resource but times have certainly changes and Directory will come to an end on December 31.
News of the closures comes as activist investor Jeffrey Smith of Starboard Value has delivered a letter to Yahoo loaded with multiple demands. As Business Insider notes, Smith wants Mayer and company to sell Yahoo’s stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, reduce costs by $250 million to $500 million annually, quit acquiring startups that don’t add revenue and perhaps most importantly, merge with AOL.
The idea of Yahoo and AOL combining heated up over the summer when AOL chief Tim Armstrong was spotted at a bar with Mayer. The Internet exploded with rumors of a forthcoming acquisition although sources at the time said Mayer felt the deal was small, unexciting, uninspiring and backwards-looking.