Yahoo! Acquires Maktoob.com – Was This a Good Idea???

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Yahoo! has had it’s share of struggles over the years. As we are all well aware, the company has been faced with the challenges of keeping up with the trends of social networking. It has been a rough and costly journey. You may recall the closing of Yahoo! 360 and announced the closure of GeoCities happening this October.

I would more say that Yahoo! has been behind the social networking wave and have been struggling to keep up. Recently, Yahoo! made an update to their homepage which made an attempt to attract and retain users to their site by offering new widgets that allow users to access their accounts from some of the more popular sites online such as FaceBook. To drive the company forward even further, Yahoo! has unveiled a new FaceBook style feature in Yahoo! Mail, which gives users the ability to post status updates. These updates have a very similar feel like FaceBook or Twitter. At this point in time, I think Yahoo! is better off continuing to develop ways to cater to social networking rather than compete with the contenders within the social networking.

One of the most breaking news occurred today with Yahoo! announcing the acquisition of a popular Arabic Internet services site called, Maktoob.com (#1, #2, #3). At this time, the price Yahoo! paid is not known. The acquisition is estimated to be fully complete by forth quarter of this year.

On Maktoob.com, Arabic users can get the latest news, keep up with business, socialize online, perform Internet research, follow popular sports events, and even search real estate. For the most part, this portal site has a lot of Yahoo! characteristics. In fact, if you view the site, while not paying too much attention, you’d might even think you were visiting Yahoo.com. One of the most popular services on Maktoob.com is their free email service.

Maktoob.com claims to be the first web based Arabic email provider on the Internet. They offer users the ability to send and receive email, and create and organize folders within the Inbox all in Arabic language. Additional features allow users to change the appearance of their screen when logged in, auto scan email for viruses, and access other web based email accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo, HotMail.

So what is your opinion? Do you think it was a good idea for Yahoo! to purchase Maktoob.com? Do you think this acquisition will help Yahoo! in the long run, or be another typical Yahoo! acquisition blunder similar to the GeoCities acquisition? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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