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In a Mission Impossible-type move, Yahoo has acquired a mobile application that allows users to share messages that self-destruct.

Blink’s users can exchange texts, photos and videos that can only be viewed within a certain period of time before it self-deletes. A timer starts after the recipient taps their screen to open the message. Whilst on the surface this looks like a copycat move to Facebook’s attempt on first mover advantage to acquire Snapchat, there are rumours that the app itself will self-destruct over the coming weeks to allow the management team at Blink to focus on Yahoo’s “smart communication” products.

This is one more deal in a series that chief executive Marissa Mayer has undertaken as Yahoo has reportedly bought 40 start-ups over two years in an attempt to give the company a new image and strategy. Identifying the next big thing is never easy though. As I wrote in January, Apple alone has 10% of America’s corporate cash in its $146 billion piggy bank and over recent months there has been a flurry of M&A activity as these cash laden corporates are snapping up innovative technologies at huge multiples such as Rakuten buying free messaging app Viber for $900m and Facebook’s acquisition of Whatsapp for $19bn.

My youngest daughter turned 11 today and she got her first iPhone (the last in her class she indignantly tells me). Seeing how quickly she and her sisters fall into then out of love with Instagram, Snapchat, etc, I suspect that in 2 or 3 years many of these apps will have already ‘self-destructed’. The only question left might be whether it was intentional or not.

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