Yahoo created a new calendar app called Day and hired Sunrise co-founder to design it – TechCrunch

When it comes to online calendars and calendar apps, services like Microsoft’s Google Calendar and Outlook dominate with hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Now, another company is hoping to ruffle some feathers with their own move to space. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Yahoo is working on called Day, a new standalone calendar app. Sources tell us the company recruited Jeremy Le Van – who co-founded another calendar app, Sunrise, and ultimately sold it to Microsoft for over $ 100 million to make it the backbone of the platform. Microsoft’s very popular calendar form in Outlook – to help design this.

Many lamented the sunrise sunset; now it looks like they might now have a chance to get Sunrise 2.0, so to speak.

(Disclaimer: Yahoo is owned by the same company as TechCrunch.)

“We are exploring different ways to better serve consumers and that includes new ideas around management, calendar and mobile events for the first time,” a Yahoo spokesperson said in response to our question.

The service is currently in an invitation-only closed alpha release as it gears up for a larger launch (you can sign up on the site as well).

Calendars serve as the backbone of many of us who organize our days, whether for work or play. And arguably, the more our activities, and their planning, move to digital platforms, the more powerful calendars can become as well.

This means that for platforms having a calendar feature or an app as part of a larger service is a good way to keep users engaged on the larger platform, and it is a way for the platform to gain more knowledge about user behavior. Google’s calendar, for example, is very tightly, and often automatically, integrated with its larger suite of productivity and information services, giving the business an extra mile to keep users on track. surroundings.

And it’s not just Yahoo that might be interested in doing more here. Facebook acquired Redkix in 2018, supposedly to bring more calendar and productivity tools to Workplace. Ultimately, Workplace integrates with existing third-party offerings and therefore does not have its own stand-alone calendar application. Facebook also doesn’t have a standalone calendar feature in the main consumer app. But with people planning so much more on Facebook properties (not just via Events on Facebook, but via Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger), it looks like this is an area where it could expand further. at some point.

Yahoo itself, in fact, already has a calendar widget which you can access through Yahoo Mail. It is not known how popular it is, especially since it is very easy these days to integrate your email with most other calendar apps.

The question will then be how Day could hope to differentiate himself and how he hopes to compete.

From what we understand, unlike how Google, Microsoft, or even Yahoo are currently integrating calendar functionality into their larger productivity suites, this is not the approach Yahoo is taking with Day.

The application is designed by members of its Mail team, but it is treated “like a startup” in the operation, we heard, and has received a license to develop it independently: it has no special Yahoo mark, nor with any Yahoo integrations whatsoever. The plan is to keep it separate, much like the many calendar apps – like Sunrise in the past – that exist in app stores, and make it something that can integrate with any other email. or other tool that a person uses. Over time, efforts could also be made to use Mail – which still has around 200 million users – to help market day.

The move underscores how Yahoo – which has effectively lost to Google in areas such as search, email, video and advertising – believes that with the right approach, there is still room for more. innovation in this crowded market, even though it has a number of shortcomings in its history of trying to do exactly that in other areas, like messaging.

But as we noted in a recent post on Calendly – a $ 3 billion startup that has proven to be a big hit with people who need to schedule meetings – calendar apps can be difficult for one. another reason. They’re well used, yes, but also a bit under the radar: Calendars are never a person’s destination, just a place to mark when, how and with whom you’ll get there. Are there other ways to improve this core functionality?

Yahoo seems to believe there are, and people will want to use an app that does.

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