Yahoo buys mobile messaging app Blink

Wed May 14, 2014 4:14am EDT

May 14 (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc has bought Blink, a mobile messaging startup that lets users send messages that self-destruct and control who sees their messages and for how long.

The deal comes just days after rival messaging startup Snapchat settled charges with U.S. regulators that accused it of deceiving consumers by promising that photos sent on its service disappeared forever after a certain period of time.

Blink will be shutting down its app for both the iOS and Android platforms in the coming weeks, the company said in a post on its website on Tuesday. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. (r.reuters.com/qaq39v)

Yahoo was not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been stepping up the company's efforts to build online services for the smartphones and tablets that consumers increasingly use to access the Web. Yahoo has acquired several small, mobile start-ups since Mayer took over.

The company now counts 430 million monthly users of its mobile products, while the number of online video streams consumers watched increased 30 percent from the fourth quarter.

Mobile messaging apps have drawn attention in the last year as they seek to capitalize on the appeal of their free services, especially in emerging markets.

Snapchat received a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook Inc late last year, which the startup rejected. Facebook eventually acquired Whatsapp for $19 billion, its largest acquisition ever.

In February, Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc bought Viber, a mobile app enabling free calls and messages, for $900 million. (Reporting by Ankush Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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