Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Confirms Xoopit Purchase


Yahoo confirmed the news–first reported by BoomTown and in The Wall Street Journal last night–that it was buying Xoopit, the San Francisco-based social email company.

And it did so in both a blog post and on Twitter, as you can see here:

@karaswisher @jvascellaro Your scoops confirmed http://bit.ly/gpOT2

Well, thanks! But we are already onto new scoops, so try to keep up!

The price for the acquisition, which Yahoo (YHOO) did not reveal, was about $20 million, according to sources.

In its blog post, titled “Xoopit + Yahoo! Mail = Moving beyond that massive digital shoebox,” Yahoo’s SVP of Application Products Bryan Lamkin wrote, in part:

With the integration of Xoopit’s platform technology and capabilities, the task of sending photos via email will be as easy as it should be and sharing photo albums with friends and family members will also be a cinch. You’ll be able to share your pictures among a group of friends or family like never before–combining pictures from numerous sources into a single album for a private group to view. And soon your inbox will become an organized photo index as well. Just imagine having a tool that collects all the photos you’ve sent and received over the years into that scrapbook you’ve never had time to assemble.

In short, Xoopit will bring phenomenal photo organization, improved photo sharing, and the serendipity of discovering forgotten photos to Yahoo! Mail.

Why is this such a big deal? Yahoo! Mail is actually home to one of the largest online photo repositories in the world. And every day, millions of you use Yahoo! Mail as your primary way to share the photos of important moments in your lives. While social networks and community sites are great for sharing photos with everyone you know, we realize it’s not for everyone or every occasion. For many, email is still best for sharing photos among a more select group of friends or family. And now we’re making it all that much easier for you.

Xoopit finds photos, videos, links and other files in email so that users can surface and then share them on many sites, such as social networking giant Facebook. It also has other products that essentially enliven email.

Xoopit’s investors–Accel Partners and Foundation Capital, along with several angel investors–have pumped about $6.5 million into the company since 2006.

As I previously reported, sources said Yahoo was first impressed with its innovative plug-in that works with Gmail from Google (GOOG), and has been looking at the company for a while, previously offering about $10 million for it.

Xoopit also makes a similar photo-sharing application for Yahoo Mail, which it launched late last year.

The opening up of its popular email product to a variety of third-party applications in order to make it more robust has been a goal of Yahoo recently as it seeks to socialize one of its most popular products.

Interestingly, in the Yahoo blog, Lamkin said Xoopit was Yahoo Mail’s most popular third-party app.

Here is a screen shot of Xoopit in action in Yahoo’s email offering (click on the image to make it larger):