Marissa Mayer has Yahoo working on two messaging apps, we’ve learned from sources.
One is for group messaging. One source described it as an app replacement for Yahoo’s old desktop product, Yahoo Groups.
The other app is more traditional in the sense that it is built for one-to-one communication. A source described it as a Snapchat competitor, to be marketed at teenagers.
It’s being developed by a team under an executive Adam Cahan.
The Information’s Amir Efrati first reported this project’s existence earlier this month. He described the product as “a mobile app that combines live and recorded video and text, blending aspects of live video apps like Meerkat, YouNow and Skype and the recorded video messages popularised by Snapchat, according to a person who has seen the product and a person who was briefed about it.” Yahoo reportedly wanted to invest in Snapchat last fall. It’s not clear if it is an investor in the startup ro not.
The other messaging app Yahoo is working on, the group messaging one, is being developed under an executive named Jeff Bonforte. Bonforte is in charge of all of Yahoo’s “communications” products — including Yahoo Mail.
Bonforte’s team is getting help from the team that came into Yahoo when it acquired a startup called Cooliris last November.
Cooliris had a group messaging app called BeamIt.
The new Yahoo app borrows a lot of ideas from that app, we’re told.
BeamIt is still available in the app store. It also has a website describing the product.
Here’s an image from that site:
Here’s a video demonstration of BeamIt:
Bonforte is quickly becoming one of the most influential executives at Yahoo. Not only is he in charge of this new messaging app, he’s also running Yahoo Mail and a secret project to take on Google search, code-named “Index.”
We reached out to Yahoo for comment on this story about 16 hours ago and have not heard back.