Yahoo Buys Upstart Snapchat Rival Blink

Enters secret messaging fray

Yahoo is buying its way into the discrete messaging craze with another acquisition. An app called Blink is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s latest takeover target. 

Blink is a small startup with less than 100,000 downloads on the Google Play store. It grew out of a location-focused app called Kismet, which was developed at Meh Labs run by ex-Google employees.

"The entire team behind Blink and Kismet will be joining our mobile team in Sunnyvale [Yahoo's headquarters in California] where they will focus on smart communication products,” a Yahoo rep said in a statement.

Blink users were able to send texts and share photos, videos and music in a secretive way. The messages were timed before disappearing and encrypted.

The app went up against an army of similar messaging platforms—Snapchat, Line, Kik, Tango, WeChat. Facebook paid $19 billion for WhatsApp in February.

Blink will shut down on the iPhone and Android phones.

Mayer has made a number of acquisition bets in her two years at the helm of Yahoo and paid $1.1 billion for Tumblr last year. Tumblr, a visual blogging property, is making strides in mobile but was not built from the ground up that way.

Yahoo also is trying to reimagine its ad business for mobile, and just introduced its definitive ad unit designed for scrolling feeds, not bottom-of-the-page banners.

Blink announced its new Yahoo ownership in a blog post today, but the price of the deal was not disclosed. 

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