Marissa Mayer explains why you should try Yahoo

The CEO cites News Digest, Flickr and Weather as services worthy of newbies' attention

News, email and photo-sharing are some of the most popular services on the Web. Marissa Mayer knows that, and they're some of the reasons she thinks you should try Yahoo.

Yahoo's News Digest app and Flickr are good places to start for people new to Yahoo products, the CEO said Wednesday at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York.

She was answering questions on stage from Michael Arrington, who wanted to know, if I'm not already using Yahoo's services today, where should I begin?

It's not a trivial question for Mayer, who is trying to get more people to use Yahoo and make it a more potent rival to Google.

"For the lightweight user who just wants to try and see if they like what they get, I would say try the News Digest," she said. You can throw in Yahoo's new weather app too, Mayer suggested, and for people who want a more substantial service, there's Yahoo Mail.

She was essentially pitching the new and redesigned products Yahoo has rolled out over the past year. The News Digest app, launched in January, provides article summaries that incorporate different elements like quotes, stock prices and Wikipedia excerpts. It may sound disorienting, but the app, Mayer said, has "beauty" and plenty of high-quality editorial content.

After years of neglect, Flickr recently got a revamp that includes a terabyte of free storage, a friendlier interface and improved search capabilities.

Yahoo is in the midst of a reinvention aimed at growing its traffic and revenue. Since Mayer took over as CEO in 2012, she has glommed onto the idea of "daily habits" -- figuring out what people do every day online and building products around it.

Mayer said Wednesday that Yahoo's traffic numbers on mobile devices have doubled, though neither the News Digest nor Yahoo Weather is currently listed in Apple's top 100 free apps. Yahoo Mail, however, is at number 43.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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