The Trouble with Yahoo’s Mobile User Metric

Marissa Mayer has touted her transformation of Yahoo into a “mobile first” company, and each quarter she discloses the number of people per month who visit a Yahoo property through a mobile device. As of April, it was 600 million, and next week she could disclose a slightly higher number during the company’s second-quarter earnings announcement.

What Ms. Mayer hasn’t discussed: The majority of those people weren’t logged into a Yahoo account, according to people with knowledge of the figures. That’s because they typically visit Yahoo’s mobile websites like Yahoo News rather than the Yahoo Mail app where an account is necessary.

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The logged-in/logged-out debate has been particularly heated around Twitter. As its growth in terms of logged-in users slows, it has tried to argue (largely in vain) that it can make serious money from other visitors to Twitter. But Twitter doesn’t have content sites like Yahoo does; so the logged-out experience isn’t very good. For now, Twitter has more logged-in mobile users than Yahoo.

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan commented on this article.
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When it comes to logged-in users on mobile and being able to track them no matter what device they use, Facebook is king.