Posterous co-founder Gary Tan just announced that they've acquired fellow Y-Combinator company Slinkset - a Digg / Reddit-style news site with voting capabilities. Says Tan in his blog post, "Slinkset will remain online, and we'll be working on some crazy awesome stuff to bring the power of Slinkset's technology and community to your Posterous experience."
The Posterous experience has certainly improved since its initial launch in 2008. In the past few months alone, the company has rolled out a variety of new releases including a faster blog importing tool, group blogging and the ability to add comments from Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The Slinkset acquisition, in combination with the use of Facebook and Twitter comments will certainly lower the barrier-to-entry for those interested in starting their own Digg or Reddit sites. Site administrators no longer have to code the voting mechanism, and they can simply choose to keep their site invite-only, open, or they can designate editors. As with its predecessors, Slinkset's users add submissions and the community votes on their favorites to determine those on the front page. While this may not mean much for these early communities, it's likely that the front page real estate on a few of these sites will become coveted as readerships increase.
Slinkset appears to be a really great tool for quick set-up of niche voting communities. Some current sites include wedding news, ideas for mobile health applications and a contest to determine the worst song ever. Virgin America has even used Slinkset in their Revolution Takes Flight site to encourage cause-related customer dialogue.
While both companies are only a year old, the Posterous and Slinkset partnership shows a ton of potential. Because Slinkset is community-managed and allows for CSS customization, and because Posterous is already a popular blogging tool, the two together can easily support niche blogging networks. Individual blogs can be promoted through Facebook and Twitter as well as on the Slinkset niche site, and everything can live on a custom domain for free. This means that there are huge opportunities in health care, parenting, gadgets, green topics and other popular verticals. It will be interesting to see how the companies will monetize, and if their hybrid communities will fill up with passionate contributors or predatory spammers.