Yahoo cleans house and kills products – again

July 2, 2014, 9:39 PM UTC
Photo courtesy: Ethan Miller—Getty Images

Yahoo is shutting down a number of poor performing products to help streamline its business.

The Web portal is closing Xobni, an email startup the company bought last year for a reported $48 million. In a company blog post, Jay Rossiter, a senior vice president at Yahoo, emphasized in a blog post that although Xobni’s original products would be shuttered on July 2, many “Xobni-like” features would survive within Yahoo Mail like a way for users to search for messages from people they contact the most.

Yahoo is also hitting the kill-switch on products like Yahoo Finance’s rarely-used paid research reports and a tool for personalizing certain Yahoo websites called Newlook. Additionally, it is eliminating the online directory People Search, which was part of Yahoo Search.

That Yahoo (YHOO) is shuttering products like Xobni shouldn’t come as a surprise. CEO Marissa Mayer has said in the past she aims to simplify what many view as Yahoo’s overly-cluttered portfolio. As Rossiter pointed out, Yahoo did the same thing in spring of 2013 when it stopped supporting unpopular features and services like Yahoo Avatars.

But Yahoo has a long history of shelving pricey acquisitions not long after buying them, raising questions about why it spent the money in the first place including online book marking service It also has a habit of killing products that it spent a lot of money building after they fail to live up to expectations like Livestand, an app for reading news and articles on tablets.