Demand Media Picks Pluck to Boost Social Media

The company created by former MySpace chairman picks up a social network software maker to position for growth.

Social media software maker Demand Media acquired, March 4, Pluck Corporation, a white-label social network that lets media companies offer blogs syndicating RSS feeds, forums and photos, and video tools that they can brand as their own.

Demand Media, of Santa Monica, Calif., offers customers a platform stacked with social media applications, such as social Q&A and a content library of Pro Amateur text and video.

Pluck, based in Austin, Texas, helps publishers, brands and retailers grow their audiences by packing content, community and social media technologies directly into their existing Web properties through APIs.

The company makes the SiteLife Community Publishing Platform as a hosted publishing environment with intelligent content integration options, user profiles/personas, and social reporting and abuse management tools.

Beyond the network

In picking Pluck from a huge crop of white-label social software makers, Demand Media said it will extend the social media platform beyond its own network of media Web sites to other major media properties and brands worldwide.

Richard Rosenblatt, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Demand Media and the former chairman of MySpace, said in a statement that after acquiring the components to create, distribute and monetize Web sites and content Pluck provides the technologies, people and partners to extend Demand's platform.

The deal will certainly help Demand Media's social media platform reach more users. It currently supports more than 64 million unique visitors per month, while Pluck's social media widgets reach more than 200 Web sites and 100 million users.

Demand Media appears positioned for growth. Although it was only created in May 2006, the startup has raised over $350 million in equity capital.

With the deal, Pluck is the latest white-label social network to concede to another social media vendor in the hopes of pursuing greater growth opportunities.

Mzinga purchased Prospero Technologies on March 3, while Onesite picked up Social Platform Feb. 20.

At this point, this industry contraction has been limited to similarly-sized rivals trying to build out their customer base, technologies, or vertical coverage.

Analysts expect a lot more consolidation in the white-label social network space, including buys from heavyweights such as IBM, SAP, Microsoft, EMC, Google and others.