Wicked, Tricksy Photobucket! We Ought to Wring Its Little Neck. … Buy It! Buy It! We Wants It, We Needs It!
Photobucket finally found a buyer: MySpace. Word on the street is that the social-networking giant is wrapping up a deal to buy the online photo-sharing service for a price that could be as high as $300 million. Which is curious, given the recent upset between the two. Last month MySpace accused Photobucket of encouraging users to insert ad-supported slide shows in their MySpace profile pages and blocked the site’s photo slide shows and videos. The dispute quickly became nasty, with Photobucket CEO Alex Welsh claiming publicly that MySpace was “contradicting the very ethos of personal and social media. . . . MySpace is showing that it considers its users a commodity which it can treat as it sees fit. Vote with your feet and your keyboards. Tell MySpace how you feel.”
It took a few weeks, but the two companies finally resolved their differences–and then began formalizing an already mutually beneficial relationship. According to the research firm Hitwise, Photobucket receives well over 50% of its upstream traffic from MySpace. It also accounts for 73% of MySpace’s photo-related traffic. That being the case, a deal between the two was an inevitability. Said Hitwise General Manager Bill Tancer, “There’s clearly a synergy between these two sites.”