Social Networking Sites and their Sidekicks


Recently there has been a race between major social networks to acquire just about every widely used services such as Skype, Fridge, Tweetdeck, and Imeem. Be it the users they are after or the service itself, ordinary people like me are often taken by surprise by their decision. We’re talking about millions to billions of dollars per acquisition.

What’s inside:
• Google + and Fridge
• Facebook and Skype
• MySpace and Imeem
• Twitter and TweetDeck

What are you waiting for? Read on!

Google+ and Fridge

If you will remember from my previous article about personal networking websites, I compared Fridge to Google+. The purpose of the two are very similar, with the only difference being the Hangout feature and terminologies, including groups that you can join in on Fridge.

Google+ and Fridge’s decision to merge caught me off-guard. I’ve recently learned of Fridge when I introduced Google+ to a friend. He said it’s a copy of Fridge. Now, just a few days ago, they joined forces to bring personal networking to a new level. What could this mean for us users? Well, we can hope strongly that this will revolutionize the way we use and share information online.

In a couple of months, maybe, we’ll see the striking effect of this merge.

How much did Google spend to acquire Fridge? Enough to close all deals in under a minute without second thoughts. The price is still undisclosed, and will probably remain that way.

Read Fridge’s official announcement (plus credits to them for the image used).

Facebook and Skype

Facebook’s use of Skype to have built-in video calling through Facebook is a very smart move. Just a week after Google+ was launched, Facebook introduced video calling which no longer required users to register for an account. The best part about the video calling is the superb quality and speed. If I may speak of it, it’s even faster than the stand-alone Skype client!

Is this a response to Google+’s Hangout feature? The truth is, this has been in the making for quite some time now and can only mean that the release was coincidental. They are two different features, one supports group video chat while the other only supports one-on-one. According to the TechCrunch article I read, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned something about not closing their doors to a group video chat feature. See links at article end.

Hold your trident and don’t poke me just yet. Facebook didn’t buy Skype, they never had a chance. Microsoft bought Skype for a whopping $8.5 billion! In any case, Facebook is still a winner since Microsoft is one of their leading investors. When Microsoft bought Skype, it did two favors for Facebook: one was access to Skype, and the other is it kept Skype away from Google.

Almost two months has passed and I can’t still wrap my head around the $8.5 billion price tag of Skype. Does it really cost that much, or is it a “shut up and take my money!” kind of deal? Whatever is the truth, no one can’t deny that Skype is vastly used by big companies and ordinary people.

That said, anybody here know who’s behind Facebook chat’s fiasco? Time to burn the stakes.

MySpace and Imeem

Way back in late 2009 Imeem users, including me, were caught by surprise when every Imeem page request redirected to MySpace. For me and my friends that was the end of it. Taking the lighter side, it may be the only reason why MySpace is still up. I’m not aware of the numbers, but there are musically inclined individuals who are using MySpace more and more especially when the acquisition happened. But for the majority of us, it’s a big disappointment.

Imeem used to be a place of bustling crowds of both artists and listeners, people searching for ring tones for their mobile phones, crying over Josh Groban’s album, and regular cussing because of 30-second music demos. Still, Imeem did a very good job of keeping people entertained, it’s a shame how it’s buried now.

You want to know the major consensus among Imeem users who are already working when the acquisition happened? Well, no more Imeem for them while working since MySpace is blocked on most workplaces!

How much did MySpace acquire Imeem for? Sadly, it’s just around $1 million.

Twitter and Tweetdeck

First, an introduction about what TweetDeck is in case there are some who don’t use it. TweetDeck is a platform that allows you to browse across several social networking sites. It’s more of a social network accounts management.

Is Twitter’s decision a smart one? In my opinion, yes. During Twitter’s rise to fame, a lot of applications and services have risen with it, like TwitPic and services that archive every tweet. The idea is, instead of developing new tools that will rival the existing ones and confuse their users as to which one to use, why not buy it instead and integrate it further into the system? Smart move, in one swoop the potential competitor is made an ally. A win-win scenario for both Twitter and TweetDeck.

How much did it cost to buy TweetDeck? Twitter does not want to talk about it, but figures suggest around $40-$50 million. That much?! Yes, that much.

In the future, instead of developing applications that are already in existence, Twitter might just buy them if they’re good enough to be bought. Talk about practicality.

A new site like TwitPic is Tunebirds, which I just recently stumbled on, enables users to share music on Twitter just like how people share photos using TwitPic. It’s pretty much  brand new, there are still changes and improvements being made. I hope it turns out well.

Yay or Nay?

Many people, by default, believe that the acquisition of a smaller company by a larger company spells doom. This is not wholly so, unlike company mergers outside of social media and networking, companies usually know how to properly pull the strings so that people will like the change. It’s all about keeping people above satisfied. So, is it a Yay or Nay?

Further readings:



  1. Murat

    I didn’t also hear about fridge until your blog post. As far as I understand, we will need to use such services a lot, especially that Google+. I will go and check fridge now.

  2. ann

    I never heard about “Fridge” before, thank you for sharing, it’s interesting information.

  3. Helen

    Sorry for the off-topic message. Every time I enter your website via Good Reader, I have that pop-up been shown to me.
    It becomes a bit irritating. Since you are a website design and usability source, I believe you should take my concerns into consideration. I have a suggestions, you can show this ad once a week or once a month to me, for instance. Since I read your blog almost every day, the pop-up doesn’t influence me and I don’t even remember of is being advertised there. I understand, that my comment most likely will not be approved my admin :) but I hope it will be at least taken into consideration. I love your content but I hate that pop-up ad.
    Your loyal reader,
    Helen :)

  4. JD

    I think it’s all for the better, the more pressure on these guys to best each other, the better features we can expect :)

  5. Celvin Toress

    I haven’t think that Google can copy other website features. It wasn’t in my knowledge that Google had copied some features from Fridge. Thanks for sharing with us. I will now explore on this more.