Yahoo!, come out, come out, wherever you are
In May this year, there was a lot of ruckus caused by a piece of news from the Ziarul Financiar, a local daily paper focused on economical and financial issues. The news stated that Yahoo! will open an office in Bucharest during the third quarter of this year, between August-September.
Well, everything is nice and fine, and I'm sure everyone is interested in seeing as quickly as possible Yahoo! on our native lands, but...I'm not seeing anything yet. No news, no gossip, no rumors. After the news landed, everything turned still and quiet.
As the article stated, Romania should have been one of the key markets, among Turkey, Poland and Russia, identified by Yahoo! as effective investment points in Eastern Europe. The company should have launched by now, according to the statement, the national portal under the domain Yahoo.ro, which they acquired since 2007. Nonetheless, a solid proof that Yahoo! has serious thoughts about entering the Romanian web market, is Bobby Voicu, a known Romanian blogger who was selected this year as the community manager for the Romanian branch. His role would be that of establishing a connection between users and the company and to determine what are the expectations of users in terms of content and services.
“Once we'll launch yahoo.ro, it is expected that we reach first place in Romania, as it happens at a global level with Yahoo.com”, states Bobby in the same article.
And this is really a relevant statement, as from the overall percentage of Internet users from Romania, 95% of them are using Yahoo! Instant Messenger. So the conditions for setting up a business here are fulfilled, what remains to be done is the actual move.
Perhaps Yahoo! has delayed taking the step forward due to the global financial crisis that has affected several large banks in Europe. Although Romania has not yet expressed severe damages, maybe the politics of “let's see what happens first” is the one adopted by the Sunnyvale company. Furthermore, the national currency has gone through some extremes lately, caused by the local elections in the country and the re-forming of the Government. After a few months things are expected to calm down and the currency to stabilize. The good news is that, among EU countries, Romania reached this year the highest economical growth rate, surpassing countries like Italy who went on minus. Either way, we're definitely highly anticipating the establishing of the Romanian Yahoo! Branch, since it will really turn the web market here into a committed one, with more opportunities for marketing and advertising potential.