While it won't be announced until Thursday, reliable sources state that Yahoo has acquired social media start-up Xoopit for a cool $20 mill. Xoopit focuses primarily on email innovations and their main product helps users to sift through email for photos, links, and videos that they can then share more easily. Yahoo was impressed with a plugin they made for Google's Gmail and offered to buy the company.
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Their first offer of $10 million was turned down. Considering the fact that Xoopit's principal investors sunk $6.5 million into its development, that's not hard to understand. Yahoo's willingness to double their initial offer speaks to the high value they place in the Xoopit acquisition. Yahoo wants to give their popular email client a boost, and they know that Xoopit works well within their framework. The smaller company already designed a photo-sharing app for Yahoo last year.
Once upon a time Yahoo was a towering name in the industry, but in recent years they seem to have fallen flat. They didn't get on the new social media bandwagon soon enough and they've been playing catch-up ever since. With Xoopit's help, they hope to integrate their mail client with a variety of social applications and tie it into such outlets as Facebook and Myspace. This would give Yahoo a chance to reestablish themselves as an innovator, while at the same time denying their competitors access to any more Xoopit apps.
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We haven't seen any acquisitions come from Yahoo in a while, so this could mean that the company has finally turned a corner and is on the upswing again. Or this purchase could just be the dying gasp of a fallen titan. Only time will tell.