Yahoo is to buy mobile messaging start-up Blink for talent, not products,, as it looks to build out its mobile engineering workforce
Yahoo has agreed to acquire Blink, a mobile application that specialises in self-destructing messages, in the web giant’s latest move to bolster its mobile engineering talent.
The Blink software for both Android and Apple’s iOS will be discontinued in the coming weeks, in order that Blink’s seven-person team can focus their efforts on Yahoo’s mobile offerings, the companies said on Tuesday.
Meh Labs, the startup behind Blink, was founded by Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan, both of whom are former Google employees, as is Melissa Mayer, Yahoo’s current chief executive.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Blink said it was looking to bring “the Blink vision” to Yahoo. The Blink software allows a user to control the amount of time a mobile message is visible, with a countdown timer launching when the user opens the message. The technique is intended to allow people to “show the same honesty and spontaneity in their online conversations as they can in person”, Blink said in a Tuesday statement.
Yahoo has acquired dozens of start-ups since Mayer took over the top position, including a number of mobile acquisitions. The company says it currently has 430 million monthly mobile users.
Established Internet companies are currently looking to attract new users and revenues in the rapidly growing smartphone market, often by acquiring popular mobile start-ups. Snapchat, whose mobile software offers disappearing photos, reportedly rejected a $3 billion (£1.9bn) buyout offer from Facebook last year. Facebook went on to acquire WhatsApp for $19bn in February.
In the same month, Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten paid $900m for Viber, a mobile application that allows users to make free telephone calls and send free text messages.
Snapchat recently settled charges by US regulators that had accused it of deceiving consumers by claiming that photos sent via the service were permanently deleted after a certain period.
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