July 3, 2013
Yahoo Gets Qwiki, Promises Not To Touch A Thing
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Yahoo has purchased video making app Qwiki for nearly $50 million, a deal which was predicted by All Things D two weeks earlier. This marks the fifth acquisition by Yahoo in three months, and each time the company has taken to their Tumblr page - itself the product of an acquisition - to announce the news.Qwiki also announced the purchase on their Tumblr page, complete with a video made in the app's typical style. Yahoo says they'll continue to update the Qwiki app and bring the team into Yahoo's New York offices. This move is the latest by the company now run by Marissa Mayer, an ex-Google employee who only began working with Yahoo last July following years of turnover and decreasing revenue. In the past three months, Yahoo has acquired other apps, including GhostBird, Rondee and, most notably, Tumblr.
"Today, we're thrilled to announce that Qwiki is joining Yahoo!" reads an announcement entry on Qwikiâs own Tumblr page.
"On a journey that took us from NYC to San Francisco and back again, the Qwiki team has spent the past few years creating products and technology that make it easy to share and discover stories."
This sentiment is shared by the Yahoo team, whose Tumblr reads: "We're excited to announce that Yahoo! acquired Qwiki - a company that uses awesome technology to bring together pictures, music and video to capture the art of storytelling.
"We will continue to support the Qwiki app, and the team will join Yahoo! in our New York city office to reimagine Yahoo!'s storytelling experience. Stay tuned ... there's much more to come!"
Qwiki only released their iOS app in 2012 which allows users to piece together songs and pictures into a movie which can then be shared. Given their recent focus on mobile devices and apps (particularly sharing apps) this acquisition is right in line with Mayer's new, revitalized vision for Yahoo. Though they were one of the first companies to strike it rich in the 90s Internet boom, critical mistakes and mismanagement in recent years have left them trailing behind newer web giants like Google and Facebook.
In an bid to reverse their fortunes, Yahoo's board voted in Marissa Mayer as the new CEO last July, making her the third person to sit at the company's helm in less than a year. Since then, she's pointed the company to a mobile future, focusing on new apps, retooling the company's existing apps, and improving Flickr. Yahoo acquired Flickr in 2005, but users had begun to complain about suffering functionality in recent years.
Mayer announced in May that Yahoo would be improving Flickr by redesigning the site and giving every user one free terabyte of storage. Mayer announced these changes with the proclaimed intention to "make Flickr awesome again," answering a popular cry from complaining users. This news came on the same day the company announced a $1.1 billion acquisition of popular blogging site Tumblr. Just as she's done with this week's announcement, Mayer promised users the site would continue to operate as it has been without "going purple."
Less than one month later, Yahoo also bought iOS photo app maker GhostBird, though GhostBird's popular app PhotoForge 2 was shuttered as a part of this deal.