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Yahoo buys Snapchat rival Blink

Warwick Ashford

Yahoo has acquired Snapchat rival Blink, but will shut down the application and re-task the development team to help Yahoo forge ahead with plans to focus on the mobile platform.

Blink joins around 40 startups acquired by Yahoo since chief executive Marissa Mayer was hired to turn around the company’s fortunes.

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Since taking the helm, Mayer has overseen several product revamps and a string of acquisitions.

A key part of her strategy is to tap into advertising revenue through generating more mobile content as users of online services switch to smartphones and tablets.

Industry pundits have said the acquisition is aimed at adding a team of developers experienced with mobile apps to help Yahoo to develop a stronger mobile presence.

Like Snapchat, Blink is a mobile application that enables users to send text messages, pictures and audio files that self-destruct after a set time period.

The seven-member team behind Blink includes former Google employees Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan, who founded Meh Labs, the startup that created Blink, reports the BBC.

“We look forward to the possibilities that will come from bringing the Blink vision to Yahoo,” they said in a statement posted on the Blink website.

Yahoo’s acquisition comes just months after Facebook acquired messaging app WhatsApp for $19bn and Japanese firm Rakuten bought free messaging app Viber for $900m.

The terms of Yahoo’s deal with Blink have not been disclosed.


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