Automattic Has Acquired IntenseDebate's Enhanced Comment System

Today at the TechStars demo day, Automattic, the company behind WordPress, announced that it has acquired enhanced commenting system IntenseDebate for an undisclosed amount.

WordPress has long been in need of an upgraded commenting system, which has led to a number of replacement and augmented systems in the last year, including Disqus and JS-KIT. WordPress CEO Toni Schneider says that better commenting has been on the blogging platform’s roadmap for some time, and that IntenseDebate’s team and technology made the company a good target for acquisition.

WordPress 2.7 will include some of IntenseDebate’s features by default, including threaded commenting. The service will also introduce a plugin that tightly integrates the rest of IntenseDebate’s other features, like aggregated commenting across multiple blogs.

In a blog post announcing the deal, IntenseDebate says that it will now be re-entering private beta, though the service’s current users will still be able to use it. IntenseDebate will stay a separate service that will be tightly integrated in WordPress, but will also be available for other platforms (Akismet’s spam filtering has been used in a similar manner).

IntenseDebate originally launched to the public last October, sporting features including OpenID support, user profiles, and the ability to track a user’s comments across multiple blogs. Since launch the site has seen impressive growth, reporting at least a 25% increase in users each month.