Yahoo buys Snapchat rival Blink

14/05/2014

Yahoo has self-destructing messaging app Blink for an undisclosed sum, as the firm looks to rival SnapChat and Facebook’s WhatsApp in the growing mobile messaging market.

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Blink, which was launched in April 2013, will reportedly be shut down in the coming weeks so that Blink's seven-person team can work on Yahoo's "smart communication" products.

In the announcement on their website, Blink said they "look forward to the possibilities that will come from bringing the Blink vision to Yahoo".

"We built Blink because we believe everyone should be free to show the same honesty and spontaneity in their online conversations as they can in person."

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been stepping up the company's efforts to build online services for the smartphones and tablets that consumers increasingly use to access the Web.
Yahoo has acquired several small, mobile start-ups since Mayer took over. The company has 430 million monthly users of its mobile products.

"We built Blink because we believe everyone should be free to show the same honesty and spontaneity in their online conversations as they can in person," the company said.

Blink is a product of Meh Labs, a company founded by ex-Google employees Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan. Meh Labs is best known for its location-sharing app Kismet.

Snapchat received a $3 billion (1.78 billion pounds) buyout offer from Facebook late last year, which it rejected. Facebook later acquired mobile messaging app Whatsapp for $19 billion, its largest acquisition ever.

In February, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc bought Viber for just under $1bn and last week, Facebook killed its own disappearing image app Poke, another Snapchat rival.

Read the Blink statement here

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