Yahoo is close to acquiring Xoopit, a Firefox extension that works with both Gmail and Yahoo Mail to let people share content from their in-boxes with social networks like Facebook, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Xoopit won the contest at a Yahoo Open Hack developer event in 2008 for building an app that runs on top of Yahoo Mail. The application digs through a person's in-box to reveal photos and other media lurking within, including both attachments and Web addresses that link to sites such as Flickr or Picasa Web Albums.
Citing sources close to the deal, the Journal said Yahoo might acquire Xoopit for $20 million. That said, the Journal noted, the deal is not yet final and issues could arise to kill it.
However, Kara Swisher at the Journal's BoomTown blog goes a step further. Swisher said she has spoken to sources close to the proceedings who have confirmed that the deal is done and that Yahoo plans to announce the acquisition Thursday.
Yahoo is interested in Xoopit because of its ability to share e-mail content with social networks. That logic makes some sense. Yahoo has said repeatedly that it plans to make its core services more open. More importantly, Yahoo wants to make itself more social. Xoopit should help it achieve that goal.
Neither Xoopit nor Yahoo has commented on the possible acquisition.