Jul 04, 2013

    Yahoo buys iPhone movie creator Qwiki

    QWIKI, the New York operation behind an application that converts videos and pictures on iPhones into movie clips - complete with music soundtracks - for sharing, has been acquired by Yahoo.

    The tech giant promised to continue to support the Qwiki app after the start-up's team becomes part of its office in New York City.

    "Have you ever listened to an old song and, all of a sudden, a favourite vacation, concert or summer memory pops into your mind?" Yahoo asked rhetorically in a blog post announcing the acquisition on Tuesday in the United States.

    "The Qwiki app automatically turns pictures and videos that you already have on your iPhone into quick, beautiful movies to share, including transitions and a soundtrack."

    Yahoo did not reveal how much it paid for Qwiki, but sources cited by technology blog AllThingsD said the acquisition cost between US$40 million (S$51 million) and US$50 million.

    Qwiki released a video about joining Yahoo and said: "The Qwiki app will live on as a standalone entity inside Yahoo, where we will grow our thriving community and where our team will continue to work to help you share life's best experiences."

    The Qwiki buy announcement came a day after Yahoo put out word that it bought Bignoggins Productions, a one-person operation specialising in fantasy-sports applications for iPhones.

    Yahoo last month completed a billion-dollar deal to take over the popular blogging platform Tumblr, a move aimed at bringing more youthful users into the company's orbit.

    Yahoo has been snapping up companies since Ms Marissa Mayer took the helm in July last year and vowed to revive the company, which has faded in the face of competition from Google.

    Yahoo last month bought start-up GhostBird Software, which makes picture-taking applications for iPhones, to enhance its Flickr photo service.

    Since Ms Mayer - formerly a Google executive - became chief at Yahoo, the company has racked up a series of acquisitions including start-ups Alike, Stamped, and a Summly application built by a British teen.

    Yahoo recently bought PlayerScale, a start-up that powers games played on smartphones, tablets, consoles or personal computers.

    Yahoo is reported to be eyeing online-video website Hulu, after its bid to buy a majority stake in France-based Dailymotion was derailed in May.

    Ms Mayer's plan for reviving the fortunes of the faded Internet pioneer includes making a priority of mobile devices, video and personalised digital content, and elevating the company's popularity outside the US.