June 13, 2013
Yahoo Goes Shopping, Buys GhostBird And Rondee
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Just weeks after their high-profile (and high-dollar) acquisition of Tumblr, Yahoo has gone out to market once more, picking up an iOS app maker and an enterprise conference call company. GhostBird, maker of popular iOS apps KitCam and PhotoForge2 announced yesterday that they´ll be joining the Flickr team to help them improve their mobile apps and other services. Rondee, a free conference call service, announced they had also been picked up by Yahoo yesterday and said they´d be joining the small business team. Neither of the two newly acquired companies shared any serious details about their respective deals, but it´s more clear what GhostBird can bring to Yahoo´s table.
“As photography enthusiasts, we are long-time admirers of Flickr, and we´re thrilled to be able to bring our technology and passion for beautiful photos to the Flickr team,” reads a blog post by GhostBird Software.
“There has been so much exciting progress at Yahoo! as they re-imagine their most-loved products for mobile, including the awesome new Flickr apps for iOS and Android.”
As a part of the great Yahoo turnaround, CEO Marissa Mayer has dedicated the company to making Flickr “awesome again” and taking it back to its earlier days before they were acquired by the purple company. Only hours before Yahoo announced their Tumblr acquisition last month, Mayer took time to show off a newly redesigned Flickr with endless scrolling, larger pictures and one free terabyte of storage for every user.
As is often the case with acquisitions, there have been some casualties. KitCam and PhotoForge2 will still exist, but only in their current form. iOS users who have it installed on their device or have ever downloaded these apps will still be able to use them, but GhostBird has abandoned their work and will not update the apps in the future. They´ve also completely removed the app from the App Store and will not be offering it anymore.
Additionally, Rondee´s conference call service is also slated to be terminated as the team joins the small business group at Yahoo. According to an email sent to users, Rondee will “no longer be operative” as of July 12, 2013. The company is handing over their users to a conference call competitor named InstantConference and has arranged a deal to let these users migrate freely and seamlessly, should they choose to do so. While it´s clear in what ways GhostBird can contribute to Team Mayer, it has yet to be seen what Rondee will be working on at Yahoo. In their email to users, (and on their website) they say they´re joining Yahoo small business “to continue innovating with technologies that help small businesses and groups.” Rip Emerson with TechCrunch suggests that Yahoo might be looking to improve Messenger next and use Rondee´s technology to help them do it.
“Right now, it´s easy to take a look at Yahoo´s product portfolio and sigh. Case in point: People used to Yahoo Messenger as their go-to chat app,” writes Emerson.
“Meanwhile, sadly for Yahoo, gamified and chat-ified messaging apps are all the rage and continue to proliferate, especially in emerging markets. In some Upside Down World, this could mean that there´s still opportunity here for Yahoo.”