Wander’s primary app, ‘Days,’ allows users to package a series of videos and photographs into a single storyline called a ‘Day.’ It’s a lot like Snapchat’s ‘Stories,’ or any visual blogging app, except less, um, popular. In fact, there is no available information on Wander’s user base, aside from a note in VentureBeat about how the company “didn’t get as much traction for the app as hoped for.”
So why the heck is Yahoo shelling out over $2 million for each of Wander’s five team members?
Primarily, the acquihire fits decently into Yahoo’s overall push for ‘storytelling’ technology. ‘Storytelling’ is indeed a nebulous pitch, but with acquisitions like Qwiki (a movie-creation iOS app acquired for $50 million), or Summly (a news summary app built by British teenager Nick D’Aloisio and acquired for $30 million), Yahoo is intent on assembling a crack team of media technologists. These are the sort of creators that traditional media should be hiring, because Yahoo is aiming for the exact same goals as, say, NBC News: highly-relevant, highly-consumable journalism.
Many of these acqui-hires have been folded into Yahoo’s Mobile and Emerging Products team, including Wander. With dynamic and contextual apps coming from the techies, and superstars like David Pogue and Katie Couric pumping out A-list stories, Yahoo is making a play for all areas of content: both user-generated and ‘professional.’
Wander’s product wasn’t catching fire, but clearly Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer saw something she liked in the team’s vision. However, considering this is her 15th acquisition in 18 months, there’s always a chance we’re giving her too much credit….maybe she’s just got too much money and not enough discernment.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.