Home Pageflakes Acquired By LiveUniverse: Further Push Into Social Networking

Pageflakes Acquired By LiveUniverse: Further Push Into Social Networking

AJAX start page provider Pageflakes officially announced today that it has been acquired by LiveUniverse. The deal is a combination of cash and stock, but the size of the acquisition was not disclosed. LiveUniverse, which was founded by MySpace founder Brad Greenspan, owns a number of social networking and video destinations, most notably LiveVideo. Rumors of this deal surfaced earlier this week, and it was officially announced today.

LiveUniverse is on an acquisition streak of late, having acquired video sharing site Revver for just under $5 million in February. While it may seem that Pageflakes is a little outside of their core business, we think the transaction is an intriguing one.

Along with Greenspan, LiveUniverse has original MySpace engineer Toan Nguyen on its management team. That’s some serious chops in the area of social networking, which is where Pageflakes has been heading since the “Blizzard” update last July. We speculated then that Pageflakes was aiming to take on social networks by adding interaction features and networking among users, which is an idea that we initially advanced in a piece we published last May.

“Both Netvibes and Pageflakes already act as platforms, with sophisticated developers APIs for creating widgets and programs to interact with their users,” we wrote in May of the two leading AJAX start page companies. “Both companies allow users to customize their pages, and inject personality into them. Both companies also already encourage users to share their creations (Universes and Pagecasts). Perhaps, the next step beyond sharing should be interaction.”

Pageflakes started to do that last summer, but perhaps bringing Greenspan and Nguyen into the mix will push Pageflakes further into social networking territory. The first tie-in between the two companies, according to a press release, will be to use Pageflakes’ page customization technologies to enhance the social networking aspects of the LiveVideo site.

We’re hoping that the two cook up a lot more than that. A quote from Pageflakes CEO Dan Cohen in the press release about the acquisition seemed to hint at bigger things on the horizon: “The combination of our two companies is truly much bigger than the sum of its parts, and the resulting innovation will be highly compelling for our users and partners.”

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