…which probably accounts for the giant gulping sound you heard earlier. Rupert Murdoch is downright voracious.
Here’s an interesting take on the acquisition from Owen Thomas at Business 2.0:
There’s been much written about MySpace and Photobucket’s mutual reliance; MySpace has the users, while Photobucket has those users’ photos, which display on MySpace using what’s known in the Valley as “widgets.”But I don’t think this deal has anything to do with the so-called “widget economy.” Here’s what it’s really about.
Engineers. Good Web engineers are scarce, especially in L.A., where MySpace has been foolishly and fruitlessly trying to assemble a tech team. The site’s technology is legendarily bad, which is largely why sites like YouTube and Photobucket have ridden to prominence on MySpace’s back. Users go to other sites because the tools MySpace provides are so subpar.
Rupert & Co., I believe, are betting that Photobucket can rescue MySpace from its tech morass. With a tech team based in the highly skilled, low-cost, low-competition labor market of Denver, MySpace at last can start making more of its huge user base. That, rather than a bunch of party snaps, is worth paying $300 million for.
The question of the moment – to me, at least – is whither non-MySpace users of Photobucket in the months to come? If Photobucket becomes essentially a bit of MySpace functionality, how long will NewsCorp (aka Rupert Unlimited) feel like providing free image storage for people outside of the social networking site (including people who use competitors like Facebook)?
I don’t mean to yell “theater” in a crowded fire. Just wondering.