Blink is going to Last Blink. Yahoo has bought Blink, a mobile messaging startup that lets users send messages that self-destruct and control who sees their messages and for how long.
The deal comes just days after rival messaging startup Snapchat settled charges with U.S. regulators that accused it of deceiving consumers by promising that photos sent on its service disappeared forever after a certain period of time. After the deal, Blink will be shutting down its app for both the iOS and Android platforms in the coming weeks, the company said in a post on its website on Tuesday. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Yahoo was not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been stepping up the company’s efforts to build online services for the smartphones and tablets that consumers increasingly use to access the Web. Yahoo has acquired several small, mobile start-ups since Mayer took over. The company now counts 430 million monthly users of its mobile products, while the number of online video streams consumers watched increased 30 percent from the fourth quarter.
With the Alibaba IPO on the horizon and expected to be one of the biggest in the tech industry, Yahoo will soon see its investment in the Chinese company earn big returns. It’s likely to be flush with cash and could go on an acquisition spree. Mobile messaging apps have drawn attention in the last year as they seek to capitalize on the appeal of their free services, especially in emerging markets.
Snapchat received a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook Inc late last year, which the startup rejected. Facebook eventually acquired Whatsapp for $19 billion, its largest acquisition ever. In February, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten bought Viber, a mobile app enabling free calls and messages, for $900 million.