Yahoo! is tanking on yesterday's confirmations from Jerry Yang and Steve Ballmer that the rumors of a new buy-out deal by Microsoft were indeed false. Yahoo!'s currently valued at about $16 billion, a far cry from the $46 billion that Microsoft had offered. The question now is, in this bad economic climate, how long will it take for Yahoo! (if at all) to reach that valuation on its own? 2 years? Maybe 4 years?
The big bet they are making is that YOS is going to blow up. I'm not necessarily sure being a platform translates into significantly higher reveneus/profits. It almost seems as if they want to get more people to interact with them in more of a Facebook style. To my knowledge, Facebook still hasn't found a way to effectively monetize all of its traffic.
I think they should take a page out of Google's book and copy AdSense but make it more open and transparent. As a former AdSense customer, it's a pretty cryptic system. "Just put this script up and trust that we'll pay you something." Yahoo! could improve upon this by treating publishers like partners and not kids. Yahoo! is at the point where they've got nothing to lose so why not try anything and everything?