Yahoo buys mobile messaging app Blink

Published: May 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Ananth Baliga

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 14 (UPI) -- Yahoo has acquired Blink, a self-deleting mobile messaging app, for an undisclosed amount in order to poach the talent behind the app.

The company plans to discontinue the app and will incorporate the seven Blink employees to work on its "smart communication" products. The seven employees include two former Google employees Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan, who started Meh Labs, which created Blink.

"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," read a blog post from Blink. "We look forward to the possibilities that will come from bringing the Blink vision to Yahoo."

Neither company has disclosed the terms of the acquisition.

Blink was launched over a year ago and is now part of a crowded self-destructing messaging app space that includes the popular Snapchat and new entrants like Frankly, Confide and Wickr. Much like Snapchat, Blink users could send photos, texts, videos and voice messages to friends and control how long their friends could view these messages before they self-deleted.

While Blink is behind Snapchat in the U.S. market, it was gaining ground in the Middle East, which became its second largest market. Stephens said that Blink would begin to cater more to its Arabic-speaking users but it seems like those plans will not come to fruition after Tuesday's acquisition.

In the two years since Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer took over at the company, Yahoo has acquired close to 40 startups in its attempt to revamp its offerings.

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