Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that it has acquired Automattic, a company that offers open source and social media technology to Web publishers.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are thrilled that our acquisition of Automattic has closed. With Automattic, Google now has the leading content management system and blogging platform, which will enable us to rapidly bring to market advances in technology and infrastructure that will dramatically improve the effectiveness, measurability and performance of digital media for publishers, while improving the relevance of advertising for users.”
Google will be revolutionizing advertising on personal and business blogs by sharing ad profits with blog authors by offering 25% to bloggers for providing content.
Asked if they had considered Movable Type, Mr. Schmidt replied with a succinct “No.”
Negotiations concluded late Sunday evening (March 30, 2008) at the end of Dallas WordCamp.
As part of the deal, the WordPress source control system will be reviewed and for each line of code added or modified, the responsible developer will receive $100.
Matt Mullenweg will join Google as Vice President of Social Media.
Sergey Brin, Google’s Co-Founder and President, Technology, said they are inspired by the efforts of the Automattic team and the WordPress community, and plan on leveraging WordPress to replace at least three products currently in development: Blogger, Picasa and Google Page Creator. “We backed the wrong horse with Blogger, and quite frankly Page Creator will just never graduate from Google Labs,” he explained.
Larry Page, Google Co-Founder and President, Products went on to comment that by embracing open source software, Google will continue to provide a free software offering to the online community. Asked if he thought that this weakened their position by allowing competitors to start a similar service, Larry responding by saying that the software is only the delivery vehicle. The value added by Google will be the service provided, which includes; data center facilities, (Automattic currently only has three), advertising revenue, support, on-going development within the open source community, and the customizability, through Google owned themes and plug-ins. “The only way we can make true advances in computer technology is by embracing the development efforts of everyone on the planet though open source projects, and not just those at Google.”
The Automattic team will be relocating to Hangar One at Moffett Field, once it has been made fit for occupation, which is estimated to cost in excess of
$200 $54.2 million due to PCB contamination. They plan on setting up bungee cords and climbing walls to provide the ultimate development environment.
Automattic employees will be given the option to live in San Francisco or any other Silicon Valley city, and Google will pay up to $1 million per Automattic employee for housing. Google will be extending its shuttle service to include a fleet of helicopters, in an attempt to reduce travel time for employees.
“Matt.er“, Matt’s next project, which will use the core WordPress engine, merges traditional blogging software with functionality made popular by Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.
“Matt.er” will encompass “all things that matter,” explained Matt. “With Google’s ginormous processing power, we will have the resources available to provide the level of functionality we have only previously dreamed about with continuous 24×7 support, and unlimited scalability.”
Sergey Brin added that Google have been looking for the “killer best way to advertise and monetize the social networks” and they have found it in WordPress.
Following the news the WordPress community has started a Save WordPress Web site to ensure that continued access to the latest software is available.
Read the full Google Press release.
About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.
Automattic is a premier provider of blogging (WordPress) and anti-spam (Akismet) technology and services. The world’s top publishers utilize Automattic’s expertise in content management systems, rich media, video, mobile, search and blogging platforms to help them make the most of the digital medium. From its position at the nerve center of digital distribution, Automattic provides superior insights and insider knowledge to its customers. Learn more at http://automattic.com.