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The shopping spree continues: Yahoo buys ‘one-tap storytelling’ app Qwiki

qwikiThere were reports a couple of weeks back that Yahoo was in acquisition talks with the company behind social video app Qwiki, and on Tuesday both companies confirmed a deal had been struck. It’s the latest in a string of app buyouts for Yahoo as it seeks to establish itself in the mobile market, an area CEO Marissa Mayer sees as key to the company’s future success.

Qwiki’s price tag isn’t known, though recent reports suggested Yahoo was expecting to pay around $50 million.

Fans of the app will be pleased to know that the Web company is promising not to kill it off – the same promise was made with Tumblr, another recent Yahoo acquisition.

“We will continue to support the Qwiki app, and the team will join Yahoo in our New York city office to reimagine Yahoo’s storytelling experience,” Mayer’s company said in a blog post announcing the news.

Qwiki confirmed the news on its blog. “The Qwiki app will live on as a standalone entity inside Yahoo, where we will grow our thriving community and where our team will continue to work to help you share life’s best experiences,” the company said.

The free iPhone app enables users to easily create short slideshow movies using images, videos and music already on a device. The movies can be created with a little input from yourself or simply with a single tap before being shared via Twitter and Facebook, or privately by email. Its creators call it “one-tap storytelling.”

Qwiki started out as a multimedia search engine application but relaunched in its current form earlier this year, clocking up 125,000 downloads in its first six days in the iOS store.

The company first came to the attention of Mayer three years ago when it won Disrupt, beating 26 other startups in the process. The decision to zone in on mobile with its new storytelling app fit right in with Mayer’s plans for Yahoo, culminating in Tuesday’s news of the acquisition.

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Since arriving in the top job at Yahoo last year, Mayer has been on something of a shopping spree as she tries to rebuild the company after years of stumbling. The Sunnyvale-based Internet firm picked up Tumblr in May, news app Summly in March, social recommendation site Jybe (also in March) and at least seven others since the start of the year. There’s also been much talk about a possible Hulu acquisition, though nothing has yet been confirmed.

Yahoo has also been working hard recently to spruce up a number of its own offerings, with Mail, Weather, News, and Flickr all receiving significant makeovers.