Automatic, the parent company of popular blogging platform WordPress, has acquired WP plug-in series BuddyPress to mark its ambitious move to social networking and perhaps challenge dominance players like MySpace and Facebook.
BuddyPress is a suite of plugins that will completely transform WordPress MU into a fully functional social network platform. Thanks to its $29.5 million funding raised in January 2008, it has gained some flexibility to explore different areas to sustain its continued growth. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg explains the rationale for this acquisition:
Itâ€™s clear that the future is social. Connections are key. WordPress MU is a platform which has shown itself to be able to operate at Internet-scale and with BuddyPress we can make it friendlier. Someday, perhaps, the world will have a truly Free and Open Source alternative to the walled gardens and open-only-in-API platforms that currently dominate our social landscape.
This is an opportune time to partake in the social networking market for niche sites are expected to boom in the years to come.