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Yandex’s sale of media assets to VK includes yandex.ru homepage

Yandex’s sale of media assets to VK includes yandex.ru homepage Image
  • Posted on 23rd Aug, 2022 07:33 AM
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Russian search giant Yandex has finalized the sale of its two flagship media properties to local rival VK, owner of the eponymous social network. The deal to sell the products, Yandex’s algorithmically sorted news aggregator (News) and blogging recommender platform (Zen), was inked back in Ap…

Russian search giant Yandex has finalized the sale of its two flagship media properties to local rival VK, owner of the eponymous social network.

The deal to sell the products, Yandex’s algorithmically sorted news aggregator (News) and blogging recommender platform (Zen), was inked back in April. But today’s binding agreement goes further than that — also including the sale of the main page, Yandex.ru, which integrates content from News and Zen into the search page, turning it into a information-rich (critics say disinformation-rich) portal by featuring a number of infinite-scroll content feeds.

This means that, once the sale completes, visitors browsing to Yandex.ru will be redirected to a renamed version of the page, dzen.ru — which will be controlled and developed by VK, the incoming owner of Yandex’s two media products.

We also understand the VK version of the Yandex.ru portal will still feature Yandex’s search service — but just as a standard iframe integration (meaning it will not get access to search data). So for regular users of Yandex.ru the only immediately obvious sign of the change of ownership will be the redirected URL.

As we reported in June, Yandex has been signalling a looming shift of focus to an alternative local homepage, ya.ru — a bare-bones search portal it has owned for decades alongside the denser Yandex.ru page, where news content dominates the experience. The latter portal has, increasingly, become a major reputational headache for a business that prefers to claim it’s just a neutral tech firm so it’s easy to see the attraction for Yandex of switching to a plain, search-focused homepage.

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