Yahoo buys contact management outfit Xobni

Just a day after acquiring movie making app Qwiki, Yahoo announced it had bought contact management specialist Xobni for an undisclosed amount, presumably to enhance Yahoo Mail and its related applications.

Xobni which is “inbox” spelled backwards, was founded in 2006 by Adam Smith and Matt Brezina, in a dorm room at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

The app offers products designed to help users uncover more information about the people they have exchanged email, calls or SMS messages with in the past. It says its services can provide “a full view of each contact, complete with their photo, job title, company details, and email history—as well as updates from Facebook and Twitter.”

It offers products for several platforms including Xobni, for Microsoft Outlook; Smartr Inbox, for Google’s Gmail; and Smartr Contacts, for iPhone and Android devices.

The startup has been based in San Francisco but will now move to Yahoo’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. Current Xobni customers will be able to keep using its products, Xobni said in a blog post.

Xobni, which is no longer signing up new users for its paid products, said in an FAQ on its website that it plans to continue supporting its contact management tools for Outlook, though other platforms may expire on July 2, 2014.

“Our inboxes are about to get a whole lot smarter,” Yahoo tweeted on its corporate Twitter account.

Xobni is the latest in a growing list of acquisitions for Yahoo as the company strives to reinvent itself and win back users who have flocked to other Internet companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Over the past year, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has stressed the company’s focus on providing enhanced products and services geared toward “daily habits” like email, finance, sports, weather and photos, particularly on mobile devices.

Last week, during the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Mayer referred to the company as a large startup. “We are making investments, and are going to continue to make investments,” she said.

 

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