Yahoo, unable to compete beings selling international divisions

In the last few weeks yahoo has been selling off its international Personals to  Meetic  and match.com    Here are just a few domains i’ve found. 

http://fr.meetic.yahoo.net/
http://it.meetic.yahoo.net/
http://es.meetic.yahoo.net/
http://tw.match.yahoo.com/

http://uk.match.yahoo.net/

These are massive markets representing hundreds of millions of people.  Clearly yahoo personals is in deep trouble and no doubt yahoo 360 as well.  By admiting defeat and getting out of the market it makes you wonder what they are going to do next.   Just what is yahoo’s social networking stratagy if there is one?   We all know there is very little difference between a dating site and a social networking site.

Given that personals  account for a large portion of yahoo’s revenues I expect this will get a lot of press soon.

I just can’t resist adding this…. 

 “We try to amass everything–men looking for women, men looking for men, spiritual people looking for spiritual people–and apply powerful search algorithms,” says Anna Zornosa, the head of Yahoo! Personals. “There are hundreds of people across Yahoo! working on this.” 

Is this another admission that yahoo is giving up on search?

22 Responses to “Yahoo, unable to compete beings selling international divisions”

  1. James J. Says:

    I could see them spinning off Yahoo Personals Premier into it’s own separate site and combining Yahoo Personals with some of their other properties to create a new free social networking site.

  2. Brad Says:

    Game….OVER!

  3. sr Says:

    ok, they might try to buy you — would you be willing to sell? $$$?

  4. YRS Says:

    >> “Is this another admission that yahoo is giving up on search?”

    I think it’s the opposite actually. Search of any flavor has plenty of interesting engineering challenges…and all the tech giants have plenty of engineers to throw at the problem – hence the “hundreds of people working on this”

  5. ex Yahoo! Personals Says:

    Yahoo! Personals current strategy for 2006:
    – Raise prices
    – Make it harder to cancel service
    – Increase marketing efforts– more internal banners.
    – “Focus on focus”– sounds good, but what’s that mean?
    – Build niche sites

  6. Steve Says:

    We are operating a dating service in one of the above mentioned countries. In fact we’ve been online for over 10 years and we’ve witnessed dozens of local players rise and fall, eventually leaving basically just MSN and yahoo. Our website name quickly became synonymous with “online dating” in the local lingo, so it’s hard to beat branding like that! Our website is totally free, even virtually free of advertising, and we’ve made efforts to keep out the rifraf, and as a result we have developed a large, dedicated and faithful community.

    My take on why match.com, soulmates, yahoo, msn, whathaveyou are failing in local markets? Simple – they lack local presence. You can not just translate an existing system, slap it online and expect people to come running because it’s a famous brand name which is popular elsewhere.

    Here’s a really good example of how they get it SO wrong: most of these sites ask you about your “hair colour”, “eye colour” and “ethnicity”. Well, in this country, the answers are 100% the same for everyone – “black, brown, chinese”. So instead of asking stupid questions like that they should be asking questions locals are interested in, like “zodiac year”, “blood type”, “birth order”, to name a few.

    The bigger problem with these sites is people can tell there’s nobody behind the curtain and these sites just give off a very generic empty feeling, and consequently people get bored and leave.

    The solution is not to add more technology to create better matching, but to have real LOCAL people running the site and organizing local events. In smaller markets such as ours you can also do things you can not easily or cheaply do in larger markets, such as member verification, which makes a BIG difference to people sick of weeding through hundreds of profiles of spammers, scammers, players and playboys at the brand name sites.

    In our business plan we do not even address the large intl match sites as competitors because they simply are NOT “competitors”, they’re there only because US headquarters told the local GM to translate their dating site and put it up. That’s just not real competition.

  7. Jonathan Lewis of PersonalsDigital.com Says:

    In my opinion! Yahoo spreads itself too much…

    They want to become everything to everyone which is a big mistake, unless you have the big guns to back it up… which 90% companies dont have anyway…

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