Contrary to popular belief, Yahoo! still exists. You can use it to search the internet, check your email, and read the news. It’s somehow worth more than AOL, despite the fact that there’s an overlap of aging users who refuse to give up on a service they’ve used for over two decades.
But Yahoo is struggling to stay relevant. After all, you don’t “Yahoo!” something when you want to search the internet. You don’t go on Yahoo! Messenger if you want to stay in touch with your friends. Sure, they get enough traffic from your mom and grandma, but how is that enough to sustain a multi-billion-dollar business?
As it turns out, Yahoo! still owns a few things that keeps it afloat. While that certainly won’t last forever, they have another thing going for them: they’re about to be acquired by one of the largest media companies on the planet.
Yahoo! used to be one of the leading internet-based companies of the ‘90s. When the dot-com bubble was happening, its stock hit an all-time high.
It was a time of post-grunge rock, Microsoft’s Clippy assistant, and All Yahoo Everything.
When Google blew up and the dot-com bubble burst, Yahoo! started to lose its luster.
Millions of people still continued to use their services, but their total user base was nothing close to what it was during their heyday.
At one point, Microsoft offered to buy the company for $44.6 billion, which Yahoo! rejected because they thought it was too low.
Throughout the ‘00s and early ‘10s, Yahoo! went through several CEOs, who all tried to steer the company back on track as a leading internet brand.
It was around this time when Yahoo! went acquisition-crazy, buying numerous small startups to acquire their technology or employees. A notable purchase around this time was Flickr, which is still a popular photo service used by millions.
The current CEO, Marissa Mayer, joined in 2012. Under her guidance, Yahoo! stopped using their own search technology and started using Bing instead.
They also bought Tumblr, a popular blogging software that you’ve almost certainly heard of.
While popularity in the U.S. might be waning, Yahoo! Japan is still one of the most popular sites in the Asian country.
It’s not entirely owned by Yahoo!, however. It’s a joint venture between Yahoo! and SoftBank.
Yahoo! also owns 15% of Alibaba, a popular and wildly successful Chinese company that acts as the Amazon of China.
Alibaba has investments in numerous companies, like ridesharing service Lyft.
Despite its wise investment in Alibaba and continued success in Japan, Yahoo! decided to put itself up for sale, seeing that its glory days were over.
Earlier this year, Verizon announced their intention to acquire the company for $4.8 billion, which Yahoo! accepted.
The deal hasn’t gone through regulators yet, but when it does, it’ll mean Yahoo! is worth $400 million more than Verizon’s acquisition of their once-rival, AOL.
Until then, Yahoo! continues to make steady increases on the stock market.
It will take some time for the Yahoo!/Verizon deal to go through. If it doesn’t, the company would continue to search for a new owner and their stock would likely take a big hit. In either scenario, some less-visited Yahoo! properties are bound to shut down to cut costs, which means grandma and grandpa are going to have to embrace change and sign up for a Google Account to keep doing what they’ve been doing on the Windows machine.
Share this with your friends on Facebook, because none of them use Yahoo! anymore.