December 5, 2013

Yahoo to improve photo offerings by acquiring Ptch

Yahoo is often seen as living in Google's perpetual shadow, but recently the search engine has indicated its desire to branch out into new territory. The company's recent technology acquisition suggests that it is interested in getting into digital multimedia, especially in the mobile sphere.

Yahoo has announced its acquisition of mobile app startup Ptch, according to a report by CNet. Launched about a year ago with financial help from DreamWorks, Ptch lets users create montage videos from photos that they have taken, resulting in slideshows and even stop-motion videos. Users can also add music tracks, and send their video clips to the friends for further edits.

"As part of the Yahoo team, we'll be able to focus our efforts and leverage our technology to make Yahoo's photo and video platforms the best in the world," read a statement released by Ptch after the merger was announced.

Users of Ptch will not be able to take advantage of the many expected benefits yet, however. As part of the deal, Yahoo has shut down the app until January 2, 2014. But it is clear that the focus of the service will still be mobile-centric, following Yahoo's overall strategy.

In addition, some observers suspect that Ptch will be called upon to improve Yahoo's Flickr service which has already experienced increased usage in the past year.

Given how so many users of Facebook and Google Plus have entrusted their photos to those social networks, it makes sense that Yahoo wants to take additional steps in this market.