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Yahoo Livetext and Games face axe in ‘streamlining’ plan

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Chop, chop, chop. Yahoo’s ongoing cuts may have some wondering if the company is opening a butcher shop, but the Web giant insists it’s merely streamlining its business, stripping away the fat to improve efficiency and make it a more attractive package for potential buyers.

Following a recent announcement that it will shed 15 percent of its 11,000-strong workforce and shutter a load of online magazines, the company said over the weekend that it’s also culling its Livetext and Yahoo Games products, as well as a number of regional properties such as Yahoo Astrology that operates in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and India.

Livetext, which closes at the end of this month, lasted a mere eight months. The app, a mix of instant chat and FaceTime-style video, was a curious effort as it had no audio, leaving users to gawk at one another while tapping out messages.

According to Yahoo, the idea was that doing away with audio placed your real-time reactions at the center of the conversation, though it’s quite possible many of those reactions included frustrated users mouthing the words “let’s switch to WhatsApp” to each other.

The company said it plans to “incorporate the learnings and features into Yahoo products including Yahoo Messenger,” its core messaging platform.

As for Yahoo Games, that’s being shown the door on May 13 after 18 years of operation. Many of the games were removed from the portal in 2014, and now the Sunnyvale, California-based company has decided to send the remaining titles the same way in a couple of months’ time. And Yahoo Astrology, in case you were wondering, will disappear “in the coming weeks.”

In the last year the business has also axed Yahoo Screen and Yahoo Maps.

Yahoo said during its last earnings call it planned to simplify its business by focusing on seven core consumer products: Mail, Search, Tumblr, News, Sports, Finance, and Lifestyle. Struggling in recent years, the company is reportedly looking to sell its core Web business, with the Wall Street Journal in recent days suggesting it’s currently reaching out to “a list of about 40 potential suitors, including Verizon and Time,” as well as several private-equity firms.

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