LiveJournal wants to matter again, and is making a number of changes over the course of 2014 which the company hopes will make it a more relevant social networking destination, starting with a major revamp of its homepage and user interface, rolled out into beta just yesterday. On the horizon, the company is also promising several new services as well as new mobile apps, in an overarching vision that sounds as if it wants to find a new niche for itself as something of a competitor to Medium.
Though LiveJournal isn’t interested in specifically detailing these new services today, the company would say that they’re designed to help bloggers “highlight their best content and amazing writing,” plus help readers better network, and bring “location aspects into long form.” In other words, a lot like the modern blogging platform Medium.
Plus, the company isn’t beyond stretching into other, not as social areas, too. For example, it’s also exploring the idea of helping users run e-commerce shops on its site – something that many of its users in Singapore do today.
And now, LiveJournal is hanging out the “under new management” banner yet again. Last month, the company announced a new CEO, Katya Akudovich, who previously worked at Google, Box and Microsoft. Akudovich was confirmed in a unanimous vote by the board of directors, who believe her international experience at these major tech companies will help her make LiveJournal a top social media platform yet again.
“My Box experience, where I started the Deal Desk department, gave me unique insights into how a company turbo-charged an amazing product,” she tells us. “At Google, it was about bringing the right content in the right form to brand new Google Play markets. And this is exactly what we’re planning to do at LJ,” Akudovich says.
In addition to the new services Akudovich teases, LiveJournal is also rolling out new iOS and Android applications next month, designed to appeal to both writers and readers. And the company is hopping on the ‘anonymity’ bandwagon, now in vogue thanks to services like Whisper, Yik Yak and Secret, noting that LiveJournal “will remain anonymous and will never ask its users to identify themselves.”
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