Social media has become an indispensable part of our lives, it has become the new mantra that has shaped the way information is exchanged among internet-savvy fanatics. Conversing with friends, colleagues and sharing family photos, videos and expressing memorable moments in our lives has never been this easier. With the advent of variant and diverse Social Networking websites, each individual stands on a virtual pedestal under a limelight that gives them an opportunity to showcase their true potential to the world. Social Media influences the way we perceive the world around us. It is being used by many individuals as a review portal that lets them know about the latest happenings around the world.. be it new product releases, movies or music. This calls in for an urgent need by a company to identify the importance of Social Media and how the energy surrounding these spontaneous exchange of information can be tapped and turned to their advantage. The top players amidst social media frenzy like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google are competing against each other in a nail-biting showdown to make their mark in the Internet “Hall of Fame”. With each of these giants bidding a whopping amount of money on gaining new acquisitions, it is almost certain to benefit the entire company in raising their venture capital and providing new dynamic functionalities to their users that span worldwide.
Let us check out the top 10 acquisitions that has been snagged by these top social networking giants in the recent years:
10. Twitter acquires RestEngine – a Social marketing website.
RestEngine: A hugely popular Social marketing platform, was acquired by Twitter on May 10th, 2012 for an undisclosed amount. RestEngine is a two year old company which has assisted numerous Social application publishers to send e-mails on basis of user’s social chart. Twitter sees this deal as a useful tool for delivering email epitome of best tweets that a user might have missed out on, occasionally. Following the deal, RestEngine’s three of four founder expressed great interest and excitement in joining hands with Twitter. However the other Co-Founder of RestEngine – Joe Waltman decided not to be part of the ongoing frenzy and conveyed that he’ll be working on new projects in the near future (Clearly someone’s unhappy). Apparently, Twitter’s been trying hard to get its inactive users to start tweeting again. Will it work? Lets wait and watch..
9. Facebook buys Karma – a Gift giving application.
Karma: A company founded in 2011 which mainly consisted of gifting custom tailored products and services from person-to-person through mobile devices, was brought by Facebook on May 18, 2012 for an undisclosed amount. Following the deal, Karma co-founders were quick to reply by saying “The service that Karma provides will continue to operate in full force. By combining the incredible passion of our community with Facebook’s platform we can delight users in new and meaningful ways”. It now remains to be seen, of how Facebook would implement this unique online-gifting application to boost and enhance its presence on mobile devices.
8. HotSpots.io acquired by Twitter.
HotSpots.io: A social analytics company was acquired by Twitter on 16th April 2012 for an undisclosed sum. Rather than buying their product or the technology, the Twitter Team is more keen on hiring the team of HotSpots.io for Revenue Engineering, wanting them to build better analytical tools for the company’s advertising and publishing partners. Following the deal, the team of HotSpots.io said that they were thrilled to be a part of Twitter because as it is, it was their vision to collaborate with a company to maximize their Social media ROI (Return on Investment). Twitter sure seems to be gaining speed in keeping up with the current world “Social Media” warfare.
7. Zynga acquires OMGPOP – a social gaming website.
OMGPOP: The most loved casual online multiplayer gaming website built entirely in flash, was bagged by Zynga (the developers of Farmville on Facebook) for a whopping $180 Million on March 21,2012. OMGPOP was listed on the TIME Magazine’s 50 best websites of 2009.OMGPOP’s most popular game includes an all time hit “Draw Something” which has surpassed all expectation since its release, grossing a mind-boggling 50 million downloads after just one week of its application launch. Zynga – A social gaming company that is hugely popular in Facebook and which has recently been discovered to be contributing almost 12% of the total revenue in Facebook, called this deal to be of utmost importance for developing and improving their social gaming experience for the users.
6. Tagged acquires HI5 – a social networking website.
HI5: A once famous social networking website that consistently ranked 3rd as the most popular website in terms of monthly unique visitors (46 Million), was acquired by Tagged in December 2011 for an undisclosed amount. HI5 took a serious blow when Facebook decided to ride the wind by going International.However, HI5 tried to revive itself by over the last 2 years as a social gaming website for new game developers, wherein they even went on to buy Big Six - a social gaming company. Unfortunately, this move didn’t work out too well, and they ultimately agreed upon a consensus to sell the company. Greg Tseng, the founder of Tagged expects that this deal would double the Company’s user base from 10 million active users to 20 million active users. A social network buying another social network? Heads up, Facebook! You’ve got competition.
5. Twitter nabs blogging platform Posterous.
Posterous: A mobile blogging platform which was found by Sachin Agarwal, was recently acquired by Twitter on March 12, 2012 for an undisclosed amount. Termed by many as the prime and free application which allows users to blog while on-the-go or directly through their website, had received a wide attention among masses. Posterous has amazing features, one in which it allows users to point their DNS listing for a Domain Name that they own to their Posterous account, enabling them to have their site hosted by Posterous. Following the deal, Posterous Founder – Sachin Agarwal who is now working as the product manager at Twitter expressed his delight by saying that he’s looking forward to the exciting opportunities that lie up ahead in twitter. With twitter acquiring Posterous, it won’t be long before blogging takes on a completely different meaning.
4. MySpace acquired by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake for $35 Million.
MySpace: The most visited Social Networking website in the world was acquired by Justin Timberlake (the renowned singer and actor) and Specific Media group (worlds largest online advertising company) for $ 35 Million on June 29,2011. From 2005 until 2008 MySpace was so popular that on June 2006 it went on to surpass Google in getting ranked as the most visited website in the United States. Internationally well-known Singer and Actor Justin Timberlake expressed his stake in MySpace as a contribution to create a place where the fans can communicate with their entertainers, listen to music, watch videos and explore new stuffs. Specific media group founders expressed their likeness by terming MySpace as a pedestal to deploy “socially activated advertising campaigns”.
3. Facebook bags Tagtile, a mobile marketing application.
Tagtile: A customer loyalty rewards and mobile marketing application, which was developed by two Indian IIT graduates, Abheek Anand and Shoham Mazumber were acquired by Facebook in a technology and talent trade for an undisclosed amount. How Tagtile worked was, the user had to download the application onto their iPhones or Android powered smartphones and during check-in, they had to tap the small white cubes which would then exchange information with handset devices using sensors and award the customers with coupons, discounts and loyalty points. Tagtile confirmed that Facebook would be acquiring essentially all of their assets and that new user registration has now officially been terminated. Now a new revolution in Social Networking Technology awaits..
2. LinkedIn buys Slideshare for $118.75 Million.
Slideshare: A popular Slide Hosting service was brought by LinkedIn for $118.75 Million on May 3, 2012. Slideshare enables user to upload files of type: PDF, PowerPoint, OpenOffice & KeyNote and enables sharing them among others either Privately or Publicly. It was launched in October and since its inception, the website has been occasionally compared to Youtube. The website attracts a whopping 58 million unique visitor per month and it holds about 16 million users till date. Slideshare is also known to be voted among the World’s Top 10 tools for education, training and e-learning. Following the deal, Slideshare CEO & Co-Founder- Rashmi Sinha expressed immense joy in having fulfilled her dreams on bringing Slideshare into a professional business social networking website that would help employees worldwide.
1. Facebook buys Instagram for Approximately $1 billion.
Instagram: The most popular and free photo sharing website consisting of 13 employees was acquired by Facebook for a whopping $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012. Instagram allows users to take photos, apply digital filter to it, add customizations and then enable sharing it on various Social Networking sites including their own. Instagram was last recorded to have had a staggering 30 million users in April 2012 and a mind-boggling 150 million photos uploaded by August 2011. Following the deal, Mark Zuckerberg expressed his intentions on keeping Instagram working independently and has also assured that it’s ability to integrate with other Social Networks will not be affected. It sure is a top-notch block buster exit for the most loved and elegant photo sharing service. Facebook never fails to surprise us, but it would be interesting to see how this deal would benefit Facebook in developing a better user experience in the future.
With the rise and popularity of Social Networking Websites & Technologies reaching an all time high, the competitiveness to survive in this ever-changing environment of the Internet wilderness remains frantic. To survive, you need to adapt. And that’s what these Social Networking Giants are best in doing. Will Companies like Twitter, Tagged or LinkedIn be acquired by any other Social Networking website or Search engine? Or will they continue to grow by acquiring more companies like these? It all remains to be seen, in this ongoing clash between the titans of the virtual world. What is YOUR take on all of this? Do let us know by sharing your valuable comments below.