Exit This Way
When news came down yesterday that Zynga was shuttering three of its locations and laying off 18 percent of its staff, employees in the New York office, many of whom joined the social gaming behemoth following the acquisition of an indie game studio named OMGPOP, were prepared for the worst.
According to an OMGPOP employee who was laid off yesterday, the office seemed like it was winding down over the past few months. Zynga’s VP of mobile, Sean Kelly, who had been tapped to replace OMGPOP cofounder Dan Porter, was rarely around the office, and though he had charged the teams with brainstorming ideas for new games just two weeks ago, he didn’t follow up with a roadmap to help guide their new game concepts into fruition.
Mo' Acqusitions Mo' Problems
Apparently owning cutesy GIF factory Tumblr is just not enough to slake the thirst of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. AllThingsD reports that the aging Valley giant made a bid to acquire Hulu this morning, just days after spending $1.1 billion (ca$h money) to buy Tumblr.
Jetsetter, the luxury travel site that Gilt Groupe put up for sale for around $50 million back in October, has been acquired by TripAdvisor, according to a press release published to PRNewswire. A Gilt Groupe representative confirmed the acquisition to Betabeat. Skift reported back in March that Jetsetter was close to an acquisition, most likely by the travel reviews site.
Forrst, a developer network that came out of the 500startups accelerator, announced today that it has been acquired by ZURB, a 15-year-old community for product designers to help companies do design work. This is the second acquisition for Forrst in less than a year; back in March, it was acquired by design community Colourlovers. The acquisition price has not been disclosed.
Kayak, your favorite travel site, which easily serves up the cheapest flight and hotel prices across the web, has been acquired by fellow travel site Priceline, also known as “that thing William Shatner did after Star Trek.” According to a press release published by Skift, the two have entered into a definitive agreement for Priceline to acquire Kayak for $1.8 billion.
After rumors began swirling on Twitter about layoffs at Salesforce, the cloud-computing company confirmed to Business Insider that it has laid off a fair chunk of its Radian6 employees. Salesforce says that less than 100 employees were impacted, but considering that Radian6 boasts only 320 employees total (according to Crunchbase), that’s still almost a third of the staffers being shown the door.
Radian6, a social media monitoring platform, is an integral part of Salesforce’s big play for a piece of the social marketing space. It acquired Radian6 back in March 2011 in order to build out the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
U Francey Huh
Birchbox now has a beachhead in the city of lights. The locally based subscription service–which, last time we checked, claims something like 100,000 members–has acquired a Paris-based lookalike by the name of JolieBox. Anchors away–the ladies of Birchbox are bound abroad.
Reddit had its biggest day ever thanks to President Obama’s AMA. No surprise there, considering the site was inaccessible for most of it. [The Verge]
RIP Microsoft Zune, can’t say anyone will really miss you. [Engadget]
Shopbop is trying to make itself into a high-end competitor to sites like Net a Porter. [New York Times]
Facebook has been cleared to officially purchase Instagram. [Wall Street Journal]
Is TechCrunch a bully? [Lane Wood]
Tomorrow (or maybe Monday, unless Betaworks is really cracking that whip) the work of rebuilding Digg will begin. But today is a day of eulogies. What slew Digg, the once-mighty social site at one time thought to be worth $200 million? The Wall Street Journal points to Twitter and Facebook. This Forbes contributor is pretty sure it was Reddit.
Actually, Redditors are pretty sure that Digg killed Digg.
We popped over to the /r/technology subreddit, where Redditors–many of them self-confessed former Digg devotees–were discussing that Forbes article. Between nostalgic ASCII spam and arguments about Ron Paul, users were pretty much unanimous (or as unanimous as Redditors get) regarding what the site had evolved into.
Can You Digg It?
Just a couple of months after the Washington Post poached most of its staff, Digg proper–the “core assets,” anyway–finally has a fate: It’s been purchased by New York’s own Betaworks, to be combined with News.me.
As for what to expect: Betaworks CEO John Borthwick told Betabeat by email, “We are reverting digg to a startup, expect more things like paperboy,” a feature that lets you automatically update whenever you leave your house.
As for the price tag, well, that’s a little unclear. Mr. Borthwick refused to comment. However, someone with knowledge of the deal told Betabeat said that ballpark number of $500,000 had been floating around and that was the only figure the source had heard. That’s a long way from the $200 million Google is rumored to have once offered for the service, before an acquisition fell through.