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Is eBay Acquiring StumbleUpon?

UPDATE: eBay CEO, Meg Whitman was on CNBC this morning to discuss company earnings. She claimed they are “opportunistic with acquisitions, but have nothing on the docket right now.”

Both TechCrunch and GigaOm are reporting on rumors that popular toolbar social network StumbleUpon has signed a deal to be acquired by eBay. They’re suggesting a $45-50 million price tag and even suggesting AOL and Google had been in the running too.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard these rumors, but this time there are appears to be more detail – thought that doesn’t necessarily mean their more credible.

I’m not even going to call StumbleUpon for comment. I spoke with them earlier this week, and they didn’t mention it, so I doubt they’d comment now.

eBay certainly seems to be an unlikely suitor, don’t you think? I love using Stumble, but I can’t quite see how it fits with eBay’s model. Would you stumble for items up for auction? I could see a deal with Google or AOL being a better match – using their ad services to monetize Stumble’s traffic, but it seems like eBay will be the one who wins the hand of this young bride.

What do you think? Where could eBay use StumbleUpon? Why would they buy it?

  • http://www.potentmark.com Mark Raratonga

    Google’s in the running to buy almost anything these days. I’m glad they didn’t bother buying it though – I can’t see what Ebay sees in StumbleUpon. I can just imagine the moment that they try to monetize it agressively, the traffic will all but disappear.

  • http://www.potentmark.com Mark Raratonga

    Hate to double post :S but did you know MP was down just before? I came on earlier looking for my daily fix of Marketing news but was stopped in my tracks.

    Just a quick heads up…

    Mark

  • http://www.prezzatech.com Brian

    I’m guessing they will try to insert Ebay ads in a noninvasive fashion perhaps to remind people Ebay is still there… one out of every 10 “stumbles” might have an Ebay ad, or a window pane in which stumbled websites are shown (like IBM commercials) except the top and bottom bars would have Ebay ads. They could be buying a giant awareness campaign for fairly cheap considering the number of stumblers out there. Would it get annoying? Sure. You could argue most advertising is annoying – except for a few bright ideas that become part of our culture.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Mark – thanks, not sure what happened, but sorry we weren’t there for your fix. :-)

  • http://www.AtWatch.com Mike Dever

    Andy, I can set you up with our AtWatch monitoring service if you’d like. You’d get notified quickly if your site was down. Mike

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog.html kelvin newman

    I can imagine ebay keeping it quite seperate, but I imagine a quick link to ebay on the stumble tool bar might drive a few more clicks their way. Not that they really need it.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Mike – thanks, I have a similar service. Hopefully you’ll never see the site down for more than a few minutes.

  • http://www.jasonblogs.com Jason Schramm

    StumbleUpon doesn’t seem like it’s a fit for Google. Google is all about finding what you are looking for. Not randomly. Yahoo used to have a script that would randomly generate a url from their listings, but then it stopped working. I even had a script based on it that would display a random page using it.

    And does anyone else finding it interesting that the logo for the Google feature is dice? Are they saying it’s a gamble?

  • http://www.potentmark.com Mark Raratonga

    I think it could be useful, but only if they integrate it to find items you like on the internet. Have you seen their personalised news items based on what you look at on the web?

    It would be interesting if they recorded this kind of data into search results wouldn’t it?