Yahoo Does Some Spring Cleaning: Shuts Down Avatars, App Search, Sports IQ, Clues, Updates API And Its BlackBerry App

Yahoo, which is now officially a technology company, just announced a Google-like spring cleaning campaign. Just like Larry Page started shutting down a number of under-performing Google properties when he took over from Eric Schmidt, Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer is also in the process of shutting down a number of smaller Yahoo properties. According to today’s announcement, Yahoo will shut down its BlackBerry app, Avatars, App Search, Sports IQ and its Message Boards website on April 1st. In addition, it’s ending support for the Yahoo Updates API on April 16th.

While it is shutting down the Message Boards website, individual message boards on sites like Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports will remain active. BlackBerry users will be able to continue to use the app, but it won’t be made available for download after April 1st.

If you have no idea what all of these products are, you are probably not alone. Yahoo Avatars, for example, as the name implies, allowed you to build you own avatar and then export it to Facebook and Twitter.

This is Yahoo’s second round of closures, following the demise of a number of Yahoo Messenger features at the end of last year.

yahoo_cluesYahoo Clues, which never made it out of beta, let you analyze search trends and features riveting content like a Top Trends leaderboard that told you who today’s most popular celebrities are.

Virtually all of the other products Yahoo is shutting down were similarly underused, so chances are there won’t be a major outcry over today’s closures.

As Yahoo EVP of Platforms Jay Rossiter notes in the announcement, the company is making these changes ” in an effort to sharpen our focus. By continuing to home in on our core products and experiences, we’ll be able to make our existing products the very best they can be.”

Here is Yahoo’s full list of products that will get the ax next month:

Yahoo! Avatars
Effective April 1, 2013, we will no longer support Yahoo! Avatars across our properties. If you like your existing avatar and want to keep it, please go to the Avatars download page, pick a picture size and format, and click the appropriate download button. Similarly, if you want to edit your avatar, you can download the image and then use a photo editing service of your preference. If you want to continue using your avatar with our products, go toYahoo! Profile and upload the avatar you downloaded. For more details, please click here. Additionally effective April 1, we will no longer support the Avatars YQL table.

Yahoo! app for BlackBerry
Effective April 1, 2013, the Yahoo! app for BlackBerry will no longer be available for download. For those of you who have already downloaded the app, you can continue to use it but it will no longer be actively supported.

Yahoo! Clues (beta)
Effective April 1, 2013, Yahoo! Clues (beta) will shut down.

Yahoo! App Search
Effective April 1, 2013, Yahoo! App Search will shut down.

Yahoo! Sports IQ
Effective April 1, 2013, Yahoo! Sports IQ will shut down. Your final lifetime Sports IQ score and rank will be automatically transferred to and preserved within your Yahoo! Fantasy Profile.

Yahoo! Message Boards website
Effective April 1, 2013, the Yahoo! Message Boards website will shut down. Our message boards on individual properties (like Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports) will remain active. We also encourage you to ask and answer questions on Yahoo! Answers, and discuss issues in the comments section on Yahoo! News.

Yahoo! Updates API
As of April 16, 2013, we will no longer support the Yahoo! Updates API.