Andy Peatling, who developed a WordPress MU-based social network and then released the code as BuddyPress has just joined Automattic, where they seem to have big plans for it. I’d been predicting something like this since Automattic acquired Gravatar:
It’s clear that the future is social. Connections are key. WordPress MU is a platform which has shown itself to be able to operate at Internet-scale and with BuddyPress we can make it friendlier. Someday, perhaps, the world will have a truly Free and Open Source alternative to the walled gardens and open-only-in-API platforms that currently dominate our social landscape.