Today at Bloomberg I saw interesting interview with Marissa Mayer, the Yahoo!’s CEO. She talked about what Yahoo! was, what it is now, and what it will be. Basically it is the same thing. The only difference between now and then is the context, and main driver of changes. Yahoo! used to be a directory, but now the Internet got too big and it needs search. How you ask a web search engine might be very specific to you. It used to be like that for several years, but now the search is becoming more context aware. It becomes aware of you. What you do, what you like, where you are, and how you have interacted with a search engine is important. In the future it will also be important for content providers such as Yahoo!
She stated an idea, that users should be able to transfer their search history, or in general their interactions history, to another search engine/service provider. This would become something like moving the telephone number between mobile networks. Her idea is that company should be transparent to be able to manage users’ sensitive information – I think it is what Google tries to do with allowing their users to see their account activity and publishing yearly transparency report.
Let us give her few more years, and see what Yahoo! will become.