Still being considered as rumors though, but likely one for sure. While, the industry is still to see the culmination of Microsoft's bid on Yahoo! a new hypothesis about Google eying to purchase bot Bebo and Plaxo is doing the round of blogs and forums.
Google and Bebo
The weightage of the 'rumor' has been spruced up to 51% as being true by Erick Schonfield. The history of rumors about Bebo's acquisition aren't new, we saw a rumor in May 2007 about Yahoo! coveting it.
Bebo is quite similar to Orkut and MySpace as being a generalized social network, has a great fan following in the United Kingdom in addition to Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The move, if it materializes, would bring in with it 21 million users of Bebo to Google. At present Google has 25 million users in Orkut making a total of 45 million. Moreover, Google's position would further consolidate the stronghold in the above-mentioned markets.
Further, Google is experienced as far as challenges of monetizing MySpace with its Google Search and AdWords partnership are concerned. Bebo's acquisition could help as there won't be a division of revenue in the ad network and would lead to less monetization. Bebo could help MySpace expanding internationally.
How big would be the bid if it surfaces anytime soon? Well it's being estimated to be $1 billion to $1.5 billion.
Google and Plaxo
Still rumors though, Plaxo the online contact management service, is being said to have accepted a $200 million, and that it has found a suitable mate in no other but Goliath Google.
Though Plaxo isn't into social networking but it can be called a social style application. Plaxo provides the service to let its users keep their contacts and address books in a centralized online storehouse.
When Plaxo was contacted, the representative declined to either confirm or deny the deal, and state that the company doesn't comment on rumors as a matter of policy.
Plaxo also has social networking alliances through Plaxo Pulse, it enables users to remain connected with business contacts across Flickr, Digg, Twitter etc. This helps to map a user's connections and their online activities.
The move if it's true could help Google compete with Facebook through its own social maps with open social projects and that Plaxo appears to be a befitting choice.
Plaxo's board members Ram Shriram and Michael Moritz were amongst the original members of Google's board. Moritz had stepped down last year but Shriram is still on board.