Tag Archives: Acquisitions

Microsoft Acquires Yammer for $1.2 Billion

YammerYammer, which is pretty much Facebook for enterprises, has been acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer was launched towards the end of 2008, and currently has more than 5 million users including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. “When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” David Sacks, Yammer founder and CEO, said. “We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”

Microsoft will be folding Yammer into the Office division, where it will bolster Microsoft’s current enterprise offerings. The Redmond giant expects Yammer to complement existing products like SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics and Skype. “The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. “Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”

Yammer will continue to be developed as an independent service, but Microsoft will leverage its existing products to boost Yammer’s adaption. Going forward, Microsoft’s biggest challenge will be monetizing Yammer. The enterprise social network operates on a freemium model, with four fifth of the current users accessing its services for free.

Facebook acquires Location based stalking app Glancee

It’s not even a month that Facebook splurged $1 billion on Instagram, Facebook has bought yet another mobile app. Glancee, a location based discovery app has announced that it has been acquired by Facebook.

Although it’s not clear how much Facebook paid for the startup, given the popularity of Glancee it shouldn’t be much. Based in Menlo Park, California and founded in late 2010, Glancee, via its mobile apps lets user connect the app to their Facebook account and discover people nearby them who share friends and interests. Glancee is just a competitor to tech press sweetheart Highlight, which made a lot of noise during the SXSW. Glancee’s three co-founders and the only full time employees will join Facebook following the shut down of the app.

From Glancee’s homepage:

“We started Glancee in 2010 with the goal of bringing together the best of your physical and digital worlds. We wanted to make it easy to discover the hidden connections around you, and to meet interesting people. Since then Glancee has connected thousands of people, empowering serendipity and pioneering social discovery.

We are therefore very excited to announce that Facebook has acquired Glancee and that we have joined the team in Menlo Park to build great products for over 900 million Facebook users. We’ve had such a blast connecting people through Glancee, and we truly thank our users for being a part of the Glancee community.”

Facebook, now with 900+ million users is agrresively moving towards its mobile strategy. Facebook is also aiming for an IPO on May 18th. In its Amendment S1 form, Facebook has proposed that it intends to make available 337 million shares at an expected IPO price between $28 and $35. Since 2012, Facebook has acquired five startups — including the high profile Instagram buyout, Tagtile, Gazehawk, Sendoid, and now Glancee. Since its Instagram buyout, Facebook has made Instagram filters to Facebook for every phone.
Why the buyout?

Facebook’s recent acquisition clearly indicates that it wants its users to be active and spend more time on its mobile apps/site. Facebook’s monthly active users on mobile apps/site now equals to 40% of its user base. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, said in a video posted yesterday to accompany the investor road show, “Mobile is a key area of growth for Facebook,”

Twitter Gives Refuge to Posterous, Prevents an Untimely Death

There was a time once when Tumblr and Posterous were in a tough battle for the short-blogging space. The battle is long over. Tumblr has emerged as the undefeated champion and Posterous has barely managed to stay afloat. In the last one year, Posterous shifted its focus from competing with Tumblr, to group conversation. It has worked well for Posterous and it managed to stay in business.
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However, the latest development at Posterous is great news for them. Twitter just acquired Posterous. The Posterous blog has announced this acquisition saying,

The opportunities in front of Twitter are exciting, and we couldn’t be happier about bringing our team’s expertise to a product that reaches hundreds of millions of users around the globe. Plus, the people at Twitter are genuinely nice folks who share our vision for making sharing simpler.

Along with the technology, Twitter also let in the Posterous team, which includes product managers and engineers.

The Posterous team has promised that all the existing services at Posterous (like Posterous Spaces) will continue to be live and the withdrawal of any service will be announced well in advance. Additionally, instructions for backup of data and other artifacts stored with Posterous accounts will be announced soon. This is a bit confusing, as on one hand, the Posterous team suggests that they will keep all their current offerings live, and on the other hand, they are promising prior withdrawal notices.

It is unclear whether Posterous will meet its fate eventually, but the Posterous team will definitely be a valuable addition at Twitter.

Where Does Skype Fit In Microsoft

For quite  while there have been updates about Facebook and Google being interested in Skype. Today, the Wall Street Journal has confirmation that Microsoft is paying somewhere between $7 Billion to $8 Billion to acquire the VoIP telecommunication company. Back in 2005, eBay purchased Skype only to sell it off in 2009. While the business strategy saw ups and downs, Skype’s user base kept growing. According to Wikipedia, Skype had 663 Million registered users and claimed 25 Million users online at the same time not long ago.

Microsoft has Windows Live Messenger on the PC and Kinect (in the consumer market) and Lync (for the corporates) that essentially do what Skype does. So why bother with spending such insane amounts for Skype? The simple answer is maintaining dominance. If Google were get hold of Skype, Google would have a compelling solution for SMBs with Google Apps and Skype for over-the-Internet collaboration. At the same time, all those ~700 Million registered users would be running a Google service.

Skype decided to pull out their Windows Mobile client back in early 2010 and have not been able to do Windows Phone 7 client due to technical restrictions. However, being a cross platform service available on OS X, iOS, Android, Linux and Windows, Microsoft suddenly has a cross-platform communication software by tomorrow.

There is a belief that Microsoft will be coming up their answer to FaceTime for WP7 which will be powered by Lync in the background but might have a different branding, a  re-branded  Skype simply makes Microsoft’s efforts easier. While the number $8 Billion sounds crazy, there were some really smart people at Redmond crunching numbers projecting the worth of this acquisition. Keeping in mind cloud and communication in the next 5 years, Skype as part of Microsoft gives the Redmond company a huge user base and infrastructure that will not be part of either Facebook or Google or Apple.

Image credit: DeviantArt

Delicious Acquired By YouTube Founders

It has been a tough past few months for Yahoo and Delicious in general. The turmoil started out in December 2010 when a leaked PowerPoint slide showed that Yahoo was sun setting Delicious. This led to several users switching to Delicious alternatives.

Delicious Logo

Yahoo later on confirmed that Delicious was not shutting down and would be kept alive while they looked for potential buyers. They did have a hard time finding any buyers but have finally been able to sell Delicious to the founders of .

According to a blog post and help page on Delicious, Yahoo will continue transitioning the property and will operate it till July 2011 after which it will be handed over to the new owners.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. They are committed to running and improving Delicious going forward.

Providing a seamless transition for users is incredibly important for both companies. Yahoo! will continue to operate Delicious until approximately July 2011. When the transition period is complete, your information will be moved over to Delicious’ new owner.

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen acquired delicious as part of their company AVOS. They have promised users the same great service as they are accustomed to.

As a part of the transition process, users will have to login to Delicious and then transfer their account to AVOS. Users will have to convert their Yahoo accounts to Delicious accounts as part of this process. Users would have to either create new usernames or continue using their old Delicious accounts.

It’s definitely going to be a long journey for both Delicious and AVOS along with users of the service. If you think that you want to pack your bags and move out of Delicious here are some articles which might come in helpful to you.

So are you going to stick around with Delicious or move on to another alternative? Do let me know.

Digsby Acquired By Tagged; Will Offer Standalone Client

Digsby, the popular multi-protocol IM and social networking client has been acquired by Tagged; a social discovery engine for finding new people.

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The Digsby buyout is more of a talent acquisition than a client acquisition as the Digsby team will now work as part of the Tagged team on their product. The Digsby will continue to support Digsby as a standalone product, however, they don’t have any long-term plans for Digsby right now. Digsby currently has over 3 million users.

They have also updated the Digsby installation to remove all bundled offers, so users will have to skip a lot less crapware installations while installing Digsby. It is not clear as to how much Tagged paid for Digsby.

Digsby has been improving the user experience of late, allowing users to disable ads in Digsby and improving their Twitter support. However, it looks like it is the end of road for future updates.

You can head over to the official Digsby blog to learn more about the acquisition.

Twitter may Buy TweetDeck for $50 Million

Back in February, there were some rumors that UberMedia might acquire TweetDeck, the popular client for desktop, , Android and .

TweetDeck Logo

It looks like that acquisition bid failed and put up on the market again. However, they might not stay there for longer though as WSJ is reporting that Twitter is in advanced talks to purchase TweetDeck for around $50 million.

In the recent past, TweetDeck had purchased Tweetie for iPhone to expand their presence on the iPhone and have also released apps for , , and Windows Phone 7.

The acquisition of TweetDeck might give Twitter an advantage in the Windows segment as it is the only platform that they don’t have a dedicated app for. Twitter creates and distributes it’s own Mac app.

Twitter has been receiving a lot of flak recently for it’s recent changes in their API ToS, where it basically asked new developers to stop developing apps for Twitter. This acquisition move might be a part of their recent change in mentality. Acquiring TweetDeck would give them a huge chunk of Windows users which TweetDeck has. It would also make them the largest app for Windows, effectively giving them an advantage over other Windows based Twitter client.

It will be interesting to see how this develops and whether it affects other Twitter app developers or not. Another important thing is that TweetDeck is also working on a web interface which will rival Twitter’s own web interface. So, will Twitter kill it once they acquire TweetDeck? Only time will tell.

If you are a developer take this news with a pinch of salt, after all building a business around Twitter was probably not the wisest decision. I have learnt this the hard way and chronicled my experience in the post; Building A Business Around Someone Else’s Could Mean Disaster, do read it.

About TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a multi-purpose client which allows users to track their Twitter timeline, replies and direct messages along with providing a powerful interface to track brands and websites, and also follow Twitter trends and searches. Along with Twitter, TweetDeck also supports pulling feeds from other popular services such as , MySpace and LinkedIn.

In recent months, TweetDeck has launched a which allowed users to access TweetDeck from within Google Chrome and also a new web interface for TweetDeck aimed at users of modern browsers.

Google Acquires Twitter; Google Ads Coming In Your Timeline Soon

Google was interested in buying since a very long time. However, the deal fell through and they weren’t able to buy them out the last time. Google was still interested in what Twitter had to offer though and they entered into a separate deal with Twitter where they paid Twitter millions of dollars just to get access to tweets for their Real-time search.

Google Twitter

Earlier today, Twitter rolled out a new change to their in which they got rid of the #Dickbar. However, that move was more of an exciting new deal Twitter made with Google rather than soothing it’s irate users.

A Google and Twitter spokesperson spoke to us on the condition of anonymity stating that the app was updated because Google had finalized a deal with Twitter where they will purchase them. The deal is set to be announced tomorrow.

According to the deal, Google will take over Twitter’s advertising platform and start displaying ads on the Twitter web interface while inserting relevant ads in users timelines for updates they see on the web and on their devices.

Though the Google AdSense ads on the site will not annoy users, the ads in users timeline will more likely than not annoy users to no end. There are also plans to send advertising to users who subscribe to Twitter through SMS, furthering the anger among people. Both Google and Twitter are working hard to make the new experience as good as they can, but considering the backlash Twitter got for the #Dickbar, this is sure to escalate to a higher level.

It is being said that Jack Dorsey was brought back as the Executive Chairman of Twitter for specifically finalizing this deal with Google. Though the actual amount of the acquisition is not known, but it is said to be close to $2.5 billion which is more than what Google paid for and a little less than what they paid for their DoubleClick acquisition.

Further details on the deal are not yet available. However, we will keep you updated once we learn more from the official announcement tomorrow.

So what do you think of this announcement? Would you like to see relevant ads in your timeline or do you think that this is another #dickbar move? Do you think Twitter should have sold to Google after staying independent for so long?

P.S. Don’t believe what you read on the Internet and Newspapers today. Happy April Fool’s Day from the Techie Buzz staff.

Image Credit: PC World