Who Buys Who In The End?

What would be the equivalent of Facebook buying Instagram in the world of blogging platforms? This is seriously a thought I’ve been wrestling with for a little while now, which probably marks me as slightly more disturbed than most of you actually thought, the Editorial Overlord Monsters included. I don’t care, I get paid in chocolate kittens.

$1 billion for a photo sharing social network. A brilliant acquisition if you ask me, assuming Facebook won’t mess it up. And by messing it up I mean going all Google on Instagram and let the service die an ungrateful death. But they won’t, they’ll continue to build and maintain a separate niche social network revolving around photos, and keep pushing links to Twitter and Tumblr and whatnot, alongside Facebook of course. Instagram will give Facebook the upper hand though, by making it possible to sync likes and tag people and stuff like that, things that will further entwine your online persona in the Book of Faces. I’m too tired to be appalled by this. Twitter or Apple should’ve picked up Instagram months ago.

That I won’t dwell on. What the blogging equivalent to the massive deal would be on the other hand…

Perhaps if Microsoft bought Automattic, to get their hands on WordPress.com?
Ah, but it is an unlikely deal because although Microsoft would probably like to own Automattic, they just don’t fit the bill. Wrong server platform (although WordPress will run in Azure instances, if you configure it correctly) and it doesn’t really make sense since the Redmond giant (which is a silly term to use just to avoid writing Microsoft too many times in an article) fairly recently canned a blogging platform.

What about Google buying Automattic then?
This one actually makes sense, because if the Google Borg could assimilate WordPress.com into Blogger it would be the true powerhouse. But how does that fit with the company’s Google+ strategy? Not sure, and I’m not sure where Blogger fits today at all really. It’s not that it sucks or anything, it just bores the crap out of me. Also, if this deal comes to pass we can kiss WordPress goodbye. When Google buys something it rarely ends well for said something.

Something something Tumblr.
Automattic buys Tumblr? Nah, they can’t afford it. What about Tumblr buys Automattic? Even less likely, why would they? Posterous buys, oh wait, Twitter already nabbed those… Perhaps Facebook wants Tumblr or Automattic? No, that’s a bad fit too.

Automattic buys Say Media.
Say Media is what was known as Six Apart, makers of the hosted blog platform TypePad and creators of Movable Type. These days they seem to focus more on media sites, and quite frankly that seems to be the move for them. Why would Automattic want to own such a company then? TypePad isn’t a player anymore and who that isn’t an old salt even considers Movable Type for anything? The only reason for this deal to come to pass is if Automattic wants to branch out.

Say Media nabs Automattic.
Now this makes more sense, but I doubt Say Media can afford it, and chances are they want to keep focusing on their media sites. Let’s skip this one right away.

Amazon buys Automattic.
Not sure why though.

Twitter buys Tumblr and/or Automattic.
I could see this happening. Twitter might’ve picked up Posterous recently, but that was probably just them securing talent. With Automattic it would be in part the same, but also a way to secure their knowledge of server infrastructure for WordPress.com, and possibly giving Twitter a chance to branch out beyond 140 characters by doing some sort of cool, er, I don’t know. It feels a bit more likely than Twitter picking up Tumblr though, but I like to keep that one open just in case. After all, who thought Twitter would buy Posterous?

Those are my thoughts, on the top of my head. I’m backing them up with absolutely nothing but an imagination and years of covering the blogosphere, albeit at a more leisurely pace lately.

Who buys who in the end? What do you think?

Photo by Andres Rueda (CC)

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