Our New Parent, AOL, Confirms Our Scoop On Them Buying Thing Labs

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.

It sounds like AOL will integrate Brizzly features into their Lifestream product. Coincidentally (or maybe not) Brizzly just released some new features today.

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.