Yahoo buys Qwiki to gain iPhone presence

Yahoo said it is buying Qwiki, a mobile Yahoo said it is buying Qwiki, a mobile app for creating vides on the iPhone. Photo Credit: Qwiki / Apple

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Yahoo! Inc. has acquired Qwiki Inc., a mobile tool for creating videos on Apple Inc. iPhones, as Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer seeks to add technology and engineers in the area of mobile software.

Qwiki’s app will continue to be supported and its employees will move to Yahoo’s New York offices, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said in a statement yesterday. Yahoo paid as much as $50 million for the startup, technology blog AllThingsD reported. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Mayer has emphasized mobile applications in her bid to win users and advertisers back from Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. Improvements to Flickr, its photo app for smartphones, have helped Yahoo top 300 million monthly mobile users, up from just 200 million at the end of last year.

Qwiki’s software lets users create video slideshows from the photos and movies stored on their iPhones, and embellish the clips with music and graphical transitions.

The technology may be used to enable video creation on other Yahoo sites, Mike Kerns, Yahoo’s vice president of social and personalization, said in an interview.

“We’re clearly interested in using acquisitions as a means to bolster talent, bolster technology and improve our product suite,” Kerns said.

Yahoo has acquired at least 15 companies since Mayer was hired as CEO a year ago, including the $1.1 billion purchase of blogging platform Tumblr Inc. She has also snapped up mobile app makers Stamped Inc. and Jybe Inc., as well as Summly, the news-reading application created by teenager Nick D’Aloisio.

Shopping Spree

Earlier this week, the company acquired Bignoggins Productions, a mobile application for managing fantasy sports teams.

Mayer, an engineer who was Google’s 20th employee, has embraced her roots as a technologist and is pushing Yahoo to be at the forefront of sleek new apps and services.

Yahoo’s stock has advanced 26 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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