Yahho Buys Mobile App Qwiki
Eager not to be swept aside by the raging storm known as the mobile revolution, Yahoo has purchased yet another startup – Qwiki Inc., which is one of the most highly rated iPhone mobile apps that turns users’ photos into sharable short movies. Although details of the acquisition weren’t officially disclosed, it’s estimated that the buyout was worth around $50 million, as originally reported by AllThingsD.
This latest coup by Yahoo comes on the heels of a slew of startup purchases that indicate the search engine vet is trying to infuse its brand with a decidedly more modern appeal. You may remember that Yahoo’s buying frenzy got its start several months, just after new CEO Marissa Mayer took the reins. On May 20, Yahoo purchased the popular micro-blogging site Tumblr for a reported $1.1 billion – despite the protests of its legion of faithful users, who expressed deep concern that being taken over by the out of fashion search engine could dull its edgy reputation. Mayer later Tweeted the words “We promise not to screw it up” and since then, the uproar seems to have died down.
Later, it was reported that Yahoo had made an offer to fork over somewhere between $600 and $800 million for Hulu, the streaming video service that’s sort of like the Netflix of TV shows. That buyout didn’t take place – Hulu’s owners, which include Disney and NBC Universal, decided not to sell after all – but the overtures made by Yahoo are clear indication that it has its eyes on reclaiming the top spot as the search engine of choice for a new generation.
Mayer was appointed CEO in an effort to reverse Yahoo’s shrinking revenue trend, which has been exacerbated by the explosive growth of Google and of Google’s principal competition, Bing. Facebook’s continued success has also proven to be a major influencing factor, but there’s also clear indication that Yahoo is seeking to do something not so easily accomplished: attract the interest of younger users.
Through the purchase of Tumblr and Qwiki, Yahoo has now taken ownership of two mobile-friendly platforms that may go a long way toward repairing its image as yesterday’s search engine.
A Brief History of Qwiki
Launched in 2011 with financial backing from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin – along with Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, and Juniper Networks co-founder Pradeep Sindhu – Mobile App Qwiki was originally created as a video search engine. With Qwiki, users could perform searches and instead of getting back an endless list of websites to manually peruse, they would be given an audio/video summary of their chosen search term. In late 2012, Qwiki’s founders made the leap into the app market by reinventing their web-based offering as an iPhone application. Eventually, the website was closed down and now Qwiki is focused principally on the mobile experience. Its newest incarnation, an iPhone app that enables users to create sharable videos using stored images on their mobile phones, is one of the most popular application in the Apple market.
Yahoo! All In for Mobile
Yahoo’s latest move on Mobile App Qwiki is proof positive that the demand for mobile services is on the rise, which bodes well for those who earn their living developing mobile apps. The demand for applications that drive revenue is expected to increase exponentially as more consumers abandon their flip-phones in favor of smart phones with internet access. If you are an application developer or a fulltime interactive designer interested in taking advantage of this increase in demand, visit Artisan Talent. Whether you’re looking to land a freelance web designer job or have your sights set on app development gigs, we can put you in touch with hundreds of companies seeking your services. Contact us today to learn more.
Vince F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.