May 15, 2014

Yahoo acquires messaging app ‘Blink’

In the technology space, business acquisitions and mergers are a frequent occurrence, as companies work to stay ahead in a competitive landscape. This is relevant to the world of messaging applications, where alternatives to regular text messaging have been growing in popularity.

It was announced recently that Yahoo is acquiring Blink, a messaging app that is similar to the popular app Snapchat, according to TechCrunch. Blink, much like Snapchat, allows users to send messages that self-destruct. Users can send photos, voice messages and videos through the app, and can set these messages to expire or to last using a timer feature, depending on user preferences. The app is available on iOS and Android phones, but it will be shutting down its services as the team behind the app goes on to join Yahoo. 

"We're excited to announce that as of May 13, 2014, Blink is joining Yahoo! 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. We look forward to the possibilities that will come from bringing the Blink vision to Yahoo," said the company on its website.

This acquisition highlights the popularity of "ephemeral" messaging apps, which, as Forbes notes, could be due to user desire for increased control over privacy. These types of messaging apps are especially popular with teenagers who seek to keep conversations private from parents and teachers. Snapchat is currently the most popular third party messaging app in North America, according to Sandvine, a company that does research based on network traffic.

Facebook offered to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion last year, but the company turned the offer down. The terms behind the Yahoo/Blink deal were not disclosed.