Web 2.0 Acquisition Spree

October 10th, 2007 | Categories: acquisitions, blogs, networks, social media, strategy

In the past couple days, we witnessed the acquisition of two web 2.0 contenders - Newsvine and Jaiku. The former was scooped up by MSNBC, while the latter was bought by Google. Interestingly, both sit second in their respective industries, trailing space leaders Digg and Twitter.

What’s the advantage of buying a second-tier player? Price obviously. I’d imagine that Digg or Twitter would be looking for several multiples of what Newsvine and Jaiku sold for. To their credit though, these leaders have shaped their respective industries and tallied up enormous user bases. Brand equity and recognition cannot be overlooked. For this very reason, I was surprised that Google didn’t buy Twitter. The search giant is known for buying high-profile, industry leaders (i.e. YouTube, DoubleClick, Blogger, and FeedBurner to name a few).

I’m not a regular user of micro-blogging platforms (i.e. Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, or Tumblr), but I have dabbled from time to time. Having said that, it is hard for me to compare Twitter to Jaiku. Nevertheless, I’ve heard whispers that Jaiku is a more powerful platform than Twitter with more robust functionality. Ambiguity aside, this may be a reason Google opted for the lesser known name. Price may have been a bonus.

As for Newsvine, it will be interesting to see how MSNBC decides to incorporate and/or integrate the service. Left in the uncapable hands of Microsoft, the service will probably fail. The Redmond giant has a history of botching web 2.0 acquisitions. Let’s hope that they keep it separate and consider it a ‘portfolio asset’.

To MSNBC’s credit however, I think Newsvine is a great acquisition. As opposed to Digg, the site is truly focused on the news. Though the design and much of the news are highly professional, Newsvine is still able to successfully incorporate the concept of social news and user-contribution - a slippery slope to say the least.

Kudos to all parties. I look forward to seeing what happens next, especially with Jaiku…

Any thoughts? Anyone know the acquisition prices? What do you think of the fit?

Leave a Comment