acquisition

BuddyPress: The WordPress Of Social Networks?

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.

Gravatar Acquired, More Features & Better Reliability Ahead

Matt pointed out that Automattic has purchased Gravatar, the globally recognizable avatar service. Om speaks of the economics and Matt’s cagy, but it’s hard not to see the possibility of creating a larger identity solution around this. WordPress’ market penetration is huge, a service that connects those nearly two million blogs could offer real value, especially in connection with Automattic’s Akismet.

Aside: now that Gravitar’s reliability is up, I’ll probably get Sexy Comments running here soon.

Yahoo! Buys Del.icio.us

Nial Kennedy threw down some of the first coverage of Yahoo!’s acquisition of del.icio.us last week.

Del.icio.us will most likely be integrated with existing Yahoo! Search property My Web. My Web allows Yahoo! members to tag search results for discovery through a defined social network (Y!360) or all Yahoo! users. Yahoo! will use del.icio.us bookmarks to better inform personalized search results throughout its services. Its ability to combine signals of relevance from search result click-throughs to a listing of sites bookmarked and classified will lead to increased use of Yahoo! Search and its related services while driving more targeted advertising, demanding higher advertising rates.

Om Malik followed up with some guesses at the sale price (among other things):

[in an earlier round of financing] the company had raised $1.3 million, and if that got the VCs around 25% of the company, my guess is the final price is between – $10 and $15 million. I am speculating here, and have no information. So treat it like that… simple speculation.