Web search powerhouse Google has jumped headfirst into the popular web logging (blogging) phenomena, inking a deal to acquire Silicon Valley software firm Pyra Labs.
Financial terms of the deal, believed to be an all-cash transaction, were not released.
Google officials could not be reached to comment on the deal, which includes the Blogger “push-button” Web publishing platform used by hundreds of thousands of users to update online journals, or blogs
Blogger boasts just over 1 million registered users but only about 200,000 users publish active weblogs. Blogger runs a free service alongside a $35 per year Blogger Pro option that offers advanced features for commercial bloggers.
Pyra Labs, formed in January 1999, was launched with start-up funding from O’Reilly & Associates, Advance Publications (parent to Condi Nast), Jerry Michalski, and The Accelerator Group.
Pyra Labs CEO Evan Williams confirmed the deal on his personal weblog. It comes just a few months after the launch of Google News and signals an aggressive push by the search firm into content aggregation/publication.
The Pyra Labs purchase is not the first time Google has bought into online content and there is widespread speculation the company soon begin selling targeted news packages (including niche weblog content) to large-scale enterprise clients looking to plug feeds into intranets and internal news services.
In February 2001, Google acquired Deja.com’s entire Usenet archive (which dates back to 1995) and rolled it into the Google Groups service.