Here comes Marissa Mayer's first home grown consumer product for Yahoo

Marissa MayerREUTERS/Ruben SprichYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Yahoo is preparing to release its first major consumer product in 32 months, Amir Efrati at The Information reports.

This will be the first product built from scratch under CEO Marissa Mayer. It’s going to be a messaging app of sorts. Here’s Efrati’s description:

Later this quarter it will unveil a mobile app that combines live and recorded video and text, blending aspects of live video apps like Meerkat, YouNow and Skype and the recorded video messages popularised by Snapchat, according to a person who has seen the product and a person who was briefed about it.

It sounds pretty confusing, but it would be unwise to prejudge a product based on a little snippet like this. (Who would have guessed — based on just a description — that Snapchat would become massive pre-launch?)

When Mayer came to Yahoo from Google, she was heralded as a “product” CEO.

Tech companies live and die on the strength of their “products”. So, this app will get a high degree of scrutiny. People will want to see whether Mayer’s product chops are all they’re made out to be.

This will be unfair to Yahoo and Mayer. Even Facebook struggles to launch successful apps — look at Poke, Paper, Slingshot, and Rooms. Those are four apps Facebook launched that failed to gain any traction.

Odds are that Yahoo’s new app will not succeed. That doesn’t mean it will be a failure, though. For Yahoo, it needs to get in the flow of releasing new products, with the hope of landing on something that becomes popular. This will be a step in the right direction.

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