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Comcast buys Plaxo: Will social networking and TV fly?

Comcast has acquired Plaxo in a move that aims to make the cable giant's interactive portfolio more social and potentially bring a little Web 2.0 to your set-top box.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

Comcast has acquired Plaxo in a move that aims to make the cable giant's interactive portfolio more social and potentially bring a little Web 2.0 to your set-top box.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but TechCrunch puts the deal at about $150 million to $170 million. Comcast has been building up its Internet portfolio and bought Fandango a little more than a year ago. The consensus appears to be that Comcast's purchase of Plaxo is a good strategic move.

Also see: Dennis Howlett: Comcast scoops up Plaxo: good move

Dan Farber: Comcast goes social with Plaxo acquisition

According to Plaxo's blog:

Joining forces with Comcast is a real win for our customers, our investors, and our employees. Comcast has an exciting vision to bring the social media experience to mainstream consumers. Together, we will be able to help users connect with all the people they care about, across all of the devices they use, with all the media they love to consume, create, and share. This is also great news for the Internet industry at large, where Plaxo has been - and will continue to be - a strong advocate for opening up the Social Web.

Plaxo will remain an independent operation in Silicon Valley, reporting into Comcast Interactive Media, which is a division of Comcast that develops and operates Internet businesses focused on entertainment, information and communication. All of our 50

employees will continue to innovate on and grow both our networked address book service and our next-generation social network, Pulse.

The game plan is to weave Plaxo into Comcast.net, Fancast and Fandango as well as television.

It's the latter vehicle that is the most interesting. Plaxo and Comcast are already partners and the cable giant is a key customer. Plaxo provides the universal address book for Comcast's SmartZone communications center and hosts webmail. Can you talk social networking beyond the early adopters?

Plaxo notes that you should be able to post information on Plaxo's Pulse and get them on your set-top box when you're watching TV. You should also be able to find recommendations to shows.

I'll be really curious to see how social networking and the TV mesh. In theory, Plaxo on your TV sounds interesting. In reality, I just want to veg. TV can be a social experience, but typically involves a few folks in the room and a few beers. I'm not sure diversions like social media is going to be welcome by your average television viewer.

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