Will Yahoo!’s Axis gain share beyond curious digerati?

Yahoo! have released a browser for iPads  which has some innovative ideas in terms of the way it handles and displays search from the browser chrome. Quite apart from the fact that Yahoo! has had some business issues that have dominated coverage, is this user experience enough to move Yahoo! out of its older, poorer audience niche? Initial impressions of some commentators have been positive, I am less convinced of it as a breakout application:

  • It wouldn’t be that hard for others to replicate
  • Despite the user experience it is still at the mercy of Bing’s search quality
  • Even if it does work, Yahoo! will still struggle to monetise effectively, Microsoft’s search advertising offering has struggled to monetise advertising inventory as effectively as Yahoo!’s historic Panama platform; let alone Google

If it does break out, it would mean that:

  • Bing (which drives Yahoo! Search) would be more important for client sites
  • Content would need to be rethought to be more visual, and able to make an impact at the large thumbnail size Axis uses to display visual search

All of this is academic of course until sufficient consumers come on board to make Axis a viable client channel.

Archived from posts I contributed to PR Week.