Yahoo! Food launched today and it looks like a magazine. Or at least, an online magazine. I’m not really sure where the content stops and the advertising begins.
What is truly weird about the food home page is the complete lack of Yahoo! branding. If there is one thing that was beaten into me at Yahoo! is that the brand (and all of the network effects that come with it) is everything. Of course, with a picture of the brand queen, Martha Stewart on the home page, maybe they figured
they couldn’t compete.
[Note: Looks like the site may have been broken yesterday when it launched yesterday. The page has Y! branding at the top today]
Where are the people?
The other strange thing here is that there doesn’t seem to be any community aspects of the site. While you can rate recipes that are on the site, there is no way to add recipes of your own or to even collect and share favorites on the site. While the food crowd and the del.icio.us crowd may not mix well, keeping and sharing recipes is a natural application here.
Taking it out a bit further, I think they missed another opportunity for user created content by not incorporating other forms of social media. While they incorporated video from Martha Stewart, they didn’t look within their own stable of sites. Yahoo! Video lists 48,000 videos when you do a search on the word “food.” Even if 99% of those videos are noise, 480 of those videos are good.
My first reaction was “Wow… this is huge departure for Yahoo!” Back in my day at the company, the product people designed the websites… that’s why they looked so bad. But they worked… and we liked it, and so did the public. I know that since then, they’ve hired some fancy designers and have spent a lot of time improving usability and design, but this is a major change even for Yahoo!
Nice design Yahoo!, now let’s hope you iterate this into something more fun and useful.
More on TechMeme.
Marketing Pilgrim adds that Yahoo! is finally listening to it’s customers, the advertisers.