Yahoo's buys iPhone video app Qwiki for a reported $50m

Acquisition continues Yahoo's continued push into mobile

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The Independent Tech

In its third acquisition since May, Yahoo has bought Qwiki – an app that creates slide-show like videos, combing videos, images and audio, for the Apple iPhone.

Although no official sums for the deal have been announced, tech blog AllThingsD have suggested a pricetag of between $40 and $50 million.

Announcing the acquisition in a blog post on their Tumblr - the micro blogging service bought by the company back in May for $1.1 billion – Yahoo described Qwiki as “a company that uses awesome technology to bring together pictures, music and video to capture the art of storytelling.”

They also said that they would continue to support the Qwiki app, but that the team will be joining Yahoo in their New York headquarters to “reimagine” the company’s “storytelling experience.”

The move is the company’s second acquisition just this month – it bought one-man company Bignoggins Productions just days ago. Like Qwiki, Bignoggins also focuses on mobile platforms (an area of weakness for Yahoo) creating paid apps that help individuals keep track of their fantasy sports teams.

The acquisition of Qwiki is fairly surprising considering the company has so far been unable to stick to a single business model. It launched in 2010 as a search engine that built interactive videos in response to queries, before pivoting (tech start up slang for ‘I’m sorry, let’s try that again’) in 2012 to become a video publishing platform for established media brands.

The company also recently shut down its website and went mobile-only as an app that sorts through your iPhone’s media, selects a song you’ve been listening to recently and combines these to create a nostalgia-ready video up to a minute long (see below for a video of the app in action).

Beyond showing a continued desire to push into mobile territory (see other acquisitions such as the news-summarising Summly) it seems to be anyone’s guess what Yahoo will do with this new acquisition.