Well, this is kind of awkward.
A couple weeks ago, we reported that AOL was in the process of acquiring of Thing Labs, makers of Brizzly. Neither AOL or Thing Labs would comment at the time, but we had multiple good sources on the deal. Fast forward to today: AOL is finally confirming the deal — right after they just acquired us.
So yes, like we said, AOL is acquiring Thing Labs. Only now, it’s technically our parent company that is buying them. So congrats to us, I guess?!
Here’s the key blurb from the release:
The Brizzly team will play a key role in helping AOL provide consumers with the best possible venues to discover and share content with each other. Over time, AOL expects to integrate aspects of the Brizzly service into its popular Lifestream product, its social aggregator and publisher, and AIM, AOL’s flagship messaging platform. The Brizzly team will join AOL’s Consumer Applications Group, where Thing Labs Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jason Shellen and Christopher Wetherell, Vice President of Product and Engineering, will lead the AIM product suite, including Lifestream.
As we suspected, this is mainly a talent play. Shellen and Wetherell will be leading the important AIM product. But what we weren’t sure of is if Brizzly the product would live on. Apparently, it may — but perhaps only in spirit.
Update: Things Labs has posted more on the Brizzly blog. According to them:
First things first: Brizzly is sticking around. Of course anything can happen in the future, but nowhere on our list of things to do is there a “KILL BRIZZLY” item.
Some or all parts of Brizzly will live on at AOL. One of the reasons we joined forces is that AOL recognized the great products we’d built and saw places where Brizzly, the Brizzly Guide and especially Picnics could tie in with some of their efforts.
AOL is a global advertising-supported Web company, with display advertising network in the U.S., a substantial worldwide audience, and a suite of popular Web brands and products. The company’s strategy focuses on increasing the scale and sophistication of its advertising platform and growing the size and engagement of its global online audience through leading products and programming. History of Aol: AOL was founded in the early 1980’s as Control Video Corp, with an online service, Gameline, for the Atari 2600 console. ...
Thing Labs builds web-based software that makes it easy to create, share, explore and enjoy content. Founded by Jason Shellen, a former Googler who worked on Blogger and co-created Google Reader, Thing Labs is the company behind Brizzly and Plinky.