Flipboard, whose mobile app features news stories tailored to each reader’s interests, could have more potential buyers than originally thought.
Google and Yahoo have separately met with Flipboard to explore a possible acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the talks. The discussions have occurred “in recent weeks,” though both Yahoo and Google are in the early stages of their evaluations and apparently have yet to offer a price.
The news comes just hours after a report from Recode surfaced, saying that Twitter was eyeing a possible Flipboard acquisition to the tune of $1 billion.
Flipboard, which collects articles in categories chosen by each reader and lays them out magazine style via its website and mobile app, has grown in popularity since its launch five years ago. Flipboard’s current userbase is 65 million, up from 50 million in February. Its service has both ridden and helped create the trend toward more personalized news.
News continues to be a driving force in Internet usage. Facebook earlier this month announced its Instant Articles plan to publish content from nine media outlets directly to Facebook’s iPhone app. Facebook’s move is considered a major step in the company’s efforts to use news to increase people’s interaction and time on its service. On a similar note, Twitter has long been an engine for sharing news and has helped drive the site’s popularity.
Google and Yahoo have similar designs on building out their news empires. Google News is one of the most prominent news-aggregators on the Web. Meanwhile, Yahoo has built up its news division by bringing on prominent journalists, such as Katie Couric and David Pogue.
Courting Flipboard may make some sense for both Google and Yahoo. While both companies have offered their own news apps on mobile devices, they’ve fared poorly while Flipboard has continued to add users. Google and Yahoo may also be feeling the pressure of Facebook’s new deal with content creators and wish to respond with a popular service of their own to court media outlets.
While both Yahoo and Google are still investigating a possible buy, Twitter’s potential buyout has stalled, according to Recode.
Neither Google, Yahoo nor Flipboard immediately responded to a request for comment.