Yahoo Pipes Promising, But What’s the End Goal?

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Like many people, I find Yahoo Pipes to be a bold and exciting move. What I don’t quite get is what audience Yahoo is eventually planning to go after. I guess I don’t see how you make money out of this as a free service. This stuff is middleware, how do you slap ads around it? I wish Yahoo and Google had the same maturity Amazon displays with S3. I need to see a clear intent and pricing before I’m going to consider embedding such tools in our business processes.

I hope my post will get an answer:

“Is this a souped up RSS reader for power users? Or is this a middleware platform offering that companies will be able to rely on to pipe in data from partners? In other words, is Yahoo Pipes meant to be a Bloglines or an Amazon S3? Is Pipes going to come with an SLA, scheduled downtimes and all the stuff you come to expect from SaaS?

In the first case it’s just a nice toy to play with. In the second case it might be a tool we want to use in my company to integrate data from third-parties with our own and deliver it to our readers. Right now we have to write custom php code to parse feeds and pump third-party content into our CMS templates. I wonder whether Pipes could empower “business analyst” types who don’t know how to code php but know what kind of data they want to put together for a specific audience.”

June 2015 update: to no one’s surprise Yahoo retires Pipes. The product never had a business model. Some notes on Yahoo Pipes hosted replacements?