Does anyone, including the folks at Yahoo, have a clue what Yahoo is doing these days? Fresh off a $1.1 billion buy of Tumblr, the company made two separate buys in wildly disparate sectors yesterday, leaving more than a few questions about when Yahoo will get out of shopping mode and start pushing out results.
The first acquisition yesterday was Yahoo's buy of GhostBird Software, which makes iOS photo apps. The terms for the deal are not known, but the integration for GhostBird is tied into Yahoo's Flickr service, if GhostBird's homepage announcement is any indication.
As photography enthusiasts, we are long-time admirers of Flickr, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring our technology and passion for beautiful photos to the Flickr team. There has been so much exciting progress at Yahoo! as they re-imagine their most-loved products for mobile, including the awesome new Flickr apps for iOS and Android.
Whatever mojo GhostBird has, Yahoo isn't going to be sharing - GhostWare's apps, KitCam and PhotoForge2, are no longer available for download and current users will receive no more upgrades.
The second acquisition yesterday is a more off the beaten path, with Yahoo picking up Rondee, a conference calling service, of all things.
Like GhostBird, Rondee is also shuttering itself, though it's giving existing users until August 12 to access their data and switch over to another vendor, InstantConference if they like.
On the surface, the Rondee acquisition doesn't make a lot of sense, though it is quite possible that this was more of an acquit-hire of Rondee's team than anything else. If that is the case, then perhaps Yahoo will put them to work on Messenger and beef up that service.
Yahoo seems to be hoovering up as many companies as it can these days, shutting them down along the way. Growth is a reasonable part of any new direction a company make take, but at some point shareholders of Yahoo have got to start wondering when they are going to see some real results from all of these buys.
An overarching theme might be good, too, since right now there is a palpable sense that Yahoo is just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. Is Yahoo trying to be the next big content company? Is there any room for an enterprise play in the midst of all of this?
These are the questions a lot of people would like to have answers to, not the least of whom will be investors in Yahoo.