Will Yahoo shutter Blink?



Yesterday Yahoo announced that it was buying Blink, the instant messaging service that lets users determine how long their messages will last before they self-destruct. Question is, has Yahoo already started the timer on Blink?

Blink isn’t exactly the star of instant messaging. Most of their users are in the Middle East. And it’s not like they are a giant company with hundreds of employees (closer to seven actually). And their technology isn’t exactly unique (Snapchat, Cyber Dust and others do basically the same thing).

Blink is a product of Meh Labs, a company founded by ex-Google employees Kevin Stephens and Michelle Norgan. Meh Labs is best known for its location-sharing app Kismet.

"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," the company said. “We look forward to the possibilities that will come from bringing the Blink vision to Yahoo.”

The Blink vision, perhaps, but not necessarily the Blink app. There are already plans to pull the app off the virtual shelves – not for retooling and re-launching. The current speculation is that Yahoo actually wanted the team and not the app. Yahoo could also eliminate a small bit of competition as they push out their own messaging apps.

In the past year or so Yahoo has been on a shopping spree. Last year they bought more U.S. tech companies than any other company, with 22 acquisitions. A number of those acquisitions, including Alike, GoPollGo, Jybe, MileWise, and Summly, have shut down their applications after Yahoo had bought them, although a few, like Astrid and Tumblr, live on.

Maybe Yahoo just wants to remind everyone that they too can play the acquisition game. In February, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc bought Viber, a mobile app enabling free calls and messages, for $900 million. But when Facebook acquired mobile messaging app Whatsapp for $19 billion it started a feeding frenzy with search and social giants snatching up just about anyone who has a mobile app.

Sometimes it’s about the technology, sometimes it’s about the people, sometimes it’s about the installed base, sometimes it’s about eliminating competition.

And sometimes it’s about presenting an image.



Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for more years then he cares to admit.


More

Ad-blockers: the death of free content or the birth of creativity

Ad blockers are making life difficult for free content providers, who is going to pay the bill?

Microsoft Moves To Replace TV With Hololens: From The Super Bowl To Quidditch

If you didn’t turn in early to the Super Bowl you likely missed one of the most fascinating ads . This ad was a showcase of how Microsoft’s Hololens , which is in developer preview, could be used to transform TV watching. Unlike Google Glass which shines an image into your eye and provides a semi-transparent overlay Hololens is designed to fully alter what you see and hear so that you could put yourself in the position of quarterback, receiver, line, center, referee, or in the best seats in the stadium which could dynamically change based on the action. In fact the only thing you’ll miss is...

Able2Extract, a PDF wizard everyone needs

I am sure most of us have encountered the situation where you receive a PDF, but there is a typo, a wrong reference, something is missing or the data is wrong. And if you have ever tried to edit a PDF, you know what a pain it can be.