Yahoo! buys maker of personal recommendation app

Yahoo! on Wednesday announced that it has bought Jybe, the startup behind a smartphone application that makes local entertainment or dining recommendations based on what people like.

The Jybe team of five employees, all former Yahoo! workers, will return to the fold at the Sunnyvale, California-based firm, according to cloud platform group senior vice president Jay Rossiter. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Jybe team will focus on targeting and personalizing results at Yahoo! websites, where online searches are powered behind the scenes by Microsoft's Bing engine.

"This will be a 'coming home' for the team," Rossiter said of the Jybe talent acquisition.

"While the Jybe app has closed, we're confident that their data- and science-driven experience will supercharge our efforts to built great products and experiences."

Jybe set out two years ago to create a mobile application that taps into people expressed likes and smartphone location-sensing technology to recommend local entertainment or dining options of potential interest.

"Three of us left Yahoo! to pursue our passion at Jybe, and two of us took a longer path via other startups and search-engine companies," the startup's team said in a blog post.

"This has been a fun and furious journey for our tiny startup, as we applied our various technology backgrounds to recommendation and mobile app design."

Former Google executive Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo! in July 2012, as the struggling Internet search pioneer tries to reinvent itself as a "premier digital media" company after withering in Google's shadow.

Mayer has echoed the mantra of predecessors who maintained that the company could find prosperity by mining information about users to insightfully tailor online content and target money-making advertising.