Is Facebook Buying Plaxo? Do You Care?
Facebook is “one hundred percent” buying Plaxo, we’ve just heard from a source.
Wow, starting your story with that sentence certainly grabs your attention, doesn’t it? VentureBeat’s managed to make a statement of "fact" without actually saying that it has confirmed the story. Nice!
Well, assuming it’s "one hunded percent" then I guess we can soon expect our Plaxo accounts to start sniffing around our business contacts and phoning home to the Facebook mothership. You see, part of the reason why Facebook would be interested in coughing-up as much as $200M for Plaxo is that the service has done a great job of convincing us to install its plugins and share our contact info.
That’s the type of info that would be very valuable to Facebook…
Mountain View, Calif.-based Plaxo could help Facebook gather data through its large user base, and through its plugins for email programs Microsoft Outlook, Mac Mail, and Thunderbird as well as a plugin for instant message service AIM, among others. Plaxo has developed technology to sync contacts through its home web site and its plugins, to create a sort of universal address book. It has also developed native mobile syncing technology for Windows Mobile and other mobile operating systems. Syncing between all of these different services is a very hard problem — that Plaxo has solved.
If the deal goes through, and I start seeing Facebook all over my Plaxo account, I for one won’t be rejoicing. Maybe I’m just too immersed in social media, but I’m just not thrilled about Facebook these days. My six month love affair ended recently as I realized that my contacts just want to send me chain letters or join groups to save a TV show. Nope, I’m finding it to be more enjoyable to connect with those in my Twitter network–which, BTW, could really benefit from a stronger "network" component.
Still, if my love affair with Facebook has dwindled, the one with Plaxo is stone cold. I haven’t touched Plaxo in about a year–when I stopped using Outlook, Plaxo became impotent–and so they can feel free to hook-up and share all the info they want. There, doesn’t it feel good to have the Pilgrim’s blessing on the marriage?
Do you use Plaxo? Have you stopped using Facebook? Do you think this will be the best union since TomKat?