AOL Starts To Get Social Again, Acquires SocialThing!

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Boulder, Colorado based socialthing! has been acquired by AOL.  Although the  lifestreaming service only launched five months ago in private beta, AOL deemed it supposedly fit with their model.  Socialthing! is a FriendFeed competitor that I have found to be a little more intuitive and easy to use. A unique feature Socialthing! has is the voting section, which allows members their say in which sites they should include in their ‘lifestream’ next.  Currently they are working on incorporating LiveJournal and MySpace.

The acquisition will put Socialthing! under the control of the People Networks division, which also encompasses AOL’s recent acquisition of Bebo.  This move by AOL shows that they are ready to try and compete with other services in the social arena.  Socialthing! will be incorporated into a couple of AOL’s current products including Bebo, which AOL recently acquired for $850 million.  Prior to the acquisition, Socialthing! raised $300,000 in seed funding and also appears to have raised additional capital from TechStars.

Personally, I had a great time at the launch party at 2008 SXSW.  It was obvious that Socialthing! was going to be a strong competitor in the lifestreaming arena, and AOL probably got them on the cheap, since they are so new.  FriendFeed is probably starting to count the money they will earn when someone makes them an offer they also, cannot refuse. The details of the acquisition price have not been released yet, but I will follow the story closely and update the article.


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