Yahoo Splurges For Qwiki And Closes AltaVista

yahooYahoo chief Marissa Mayer has continued her ongoing acquisition spree with the purchase of iPhone app Qwiki while announcing that Altavista will be closed on 8 July.

Former Google executive Marissa Mayer was brought in to revive Yahoo’s fortunes in July 2012 and in the 12 months since, she has overseen 16 acquisitions. The busiest month of acquisitions for Yahoo was May this year when the search giant not only bought Tumblr for a fee believed to be around $1.1bn but also purchased Astrid, GoPollGo, MileWise, Loki Studios, and Playerscale.

As well as Qwiki, Yahoo have also completed the acquisition of fantasy sports app Bignoggins Productions this month.

Qwiki is the startup behind an iPhone app that enables users to automatically turn photos, music and videos into short video clips. The amount paid for the startup has not been disclosed but reports suggest that it will cost in the region of £30m. The app will live on while the team will be assimilated into Yahoo’s New York office.

Yahoo has been struggling in recent years, despite being a major search engine pioneer in its early days. The likes of Google have taken large chunks of the company’s market share since then and, in July 2012, Marissa Mayer was brought in from Google in a bid to turn the company’s ailing profits around. Thus far, the trail of acquisitions points to the company making in-roads into social and mobile markets but the strategy has not yet been made clear.

Another search engine that suffered at the hands of the rise of Google was the pioneering AltaVista. It was one of the first to index tens of millions of pages and used crawler technology to help locate and identify pages.

The site was initially launched in 1995 and it quickly became very popular. However, in 2001 AltaVista was overtaken by Google and has struggled to find a return to its glory days.

In 1998 the search engine was bought by Compaq and changed hands again in 1999 when it was sold to a venture capital firm. The firm prepared an IPO but abandoned the idea in 2001, selling to Overture in 2003 instead. When Yahoo purchased Overture in the same year they also took on the AltaVista service.

In a blog post that detailed several closures and plans for Yahoo property, it was announced that the once great AltaVista would be closed down effective from 7th July and that anybody heading to the AltaVista page would be redirected to the main Yahoo page.


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