Home AOL is Getting Serious About Lifestreaming: Buys SocialThing

AOL is Getting Serious About Lifestreaming: Buys SocialThing

SocialThing, a lifestreaming/social aggregation site, has been acquired by AOL, TechCrunch reports. We currently have no information about the final price of the acquisition, but given that SocialThing was still in private beta, we assume that it was relatively low. SocialThing was founded in 2007 with $15,000 in seed capital from TechStars. AOL seems to be rather interested in the lifestreaming and aggregation business these days. As AOL product manager Frank Gruber reported, AOL also just released its AIM BuddyUpdates yesterday.

While it is not unusual for a company to be bought up this quickly, it is interesting that SocialThing was acquired before it even came out of private beta. This could mean that AOL was less interested in the technology behind SocialThing and more in the team behind the service. SocialThing, after all, is still in such an early phase of its development that it doesn’t even support Microsoft’s Internet Explorer yet (though some people might, of course, consider that a good thing).

While SocialThing does the things it does well, it never quite got the hype and user base that its nearest direct competitor Friendfeed has been getting for the last few months. While SocialThing CEO and founder Matt Galligan pointed out to us that he doesn’t think SocialThing is actually competing with FriendFeed, the similarities between the two are just too striking.

It is true, though, that SocialThing is less focused on creating an internal community and puts more emphasis on sharing information back to the aggregated services than Friendfeed, especially since they just integrated ping.fm updates.

It will be interesting to see what AOL is going to do with this new property. Chances are that it will be integrated into AOL’s new BuddyUpdate service or that the SocialThing team will move over to work on BuddyUpdates while SocialThing itself will become a thing of the past.

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