Yahoo has confirmed that it will acquire San Francisco-based Xoopit, which won the Yahoo Open Hack contest in 2008 and powers Yahoo Mail's My Photos application. The app finds photos in a user's in-box, including both file attachments and URLs that link to photo sites like Flickr or Picasa Web Albums.
Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Yahoo applications, said the acquisition will bring "phenomenal photo organization, improved photo sharing, and the serendipity of discovering forgotten photos to Yahoo Mail."
"With the integration of Xoopit's platform technology and capabilities, the task of sending photos via e-mail will be as easy as it should be, and sharing photo albums with friends and family members will also be a cinch," he wrote Wednesday on Yahoo's Yodel Anecdotal blog. "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."
Xoopit also provides a Web application for rival Google's Gmail service, and Web observers noted that Xoopit has stopped accepting new Gmail users. A notice on Xoopit's Web site said the service will "continue for the time being to operate for existing users."
PC World blogger David Coursey chided Yahoo for "allowing corporate ego to overwhelm common sense." He wrote that Yahoo has said current Gmail users could also be cut off from the Xoopit service.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, but some reports put the deal at about $20 million.