Plaxo, has apparently been acquired on the strength of its Pulse offering, by Comcast. Uh, Comcast? That’s almost like being acquired by Exxon, or Proctor and Gamble.[from
Pulse to Become Central to Creating Unified “Social Media” Experience Across the Web, the TV (and more)
Big doings at Plaxo today! We are really excited to announce some of the biggest news in the history of Plaxo: We have just signed an agreement** (**We are not releasing financial details of the transaction. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the near future.) to be acquired by Comcast, the nation’s leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services (and our largest customer and partner).
Joining forces with Comcast is a real win for our customers, our investors, and our employees. Comcast has an exciting vision to bring the social media experience to mainstream consumers. Together, we will be able to help users connect with all the people they care about, across all of the devices they use, with all the media they love to consume, create, and share. This is also great news for the Internet industry at large, where Plaxo has been — and will continue to be — a strong advocate for opening up the Social Web.
Plaxo will remain an independent operation in Silicon Valley, reporting into Comcast Interactive Media, which is a division of Comcast that develops and operates Internet businesses focused on entertainment, information and communication. All of our 50 employees will continue to innovate on and grow both our networked address book service and our next-generation social network, Pulse. And through additional integration projects with Comcast, we’ll be able to take these services to a lot more users and places than we could on our own. We are developing an exciting roadmap with Comcast that includes socially enabling the media experience in places such as Comcast’s high traffic portal (Comcast.net), CIM’s popular interactive entertainment properties (such as Fancast and Fandango), and the television.
Note that I am focused just on Pulse, like Comcast is, not the old school Plaxo tool. Pulse is another competitive flow app (see LinkedIn and Plaxo: Adapt or Die), but the old Plaxo stuff – synching of contacts and so on – is not very exciting, to say the least.
I guess it is possible that someone like Comcast could acquire Pulse and do something interesting with it for Comcast customers, integrated into the TV experience or some planned Comcast foray into Web TV that streams information on what my friends are watching, their comments on it, and various recommendations from others that I am following. We’ll see. But I don’t expect to have my breath taken away by the deft moves of that Web genius, Comcast.