AOL Buys Two More Companies, 5min Media and Thing Labs

In a busy two-day period at AOL that started with them buying tech blogging giant TechCrunch finished with two more interesting acquisition: 5min Media and Thing Labs.

Trying to remain relevant in today's Internet, the company that was once similar to the words email and instant messaging is having a hard time keeping up with the web 2.0 modern times.

Being in free-fall for years in traffic ranks and user taste, AOL opened the bank in the past two days adding to its blogging network a community favorite like TechCrunch.

Because of all the hype surrounding TechCrunch's acquisition, the mainstream media quickly passed over the other two deals also announced before and after TechCrunch.

The first, 5min Media, the Internet's leading syndication platform for lifestyle, knowledge and instructional how-to videos will allow AOL to bolster its video platform on a technological level, but as important, on a content level as well.

With tens of thousands of videos across 20 categories and 140 subcategories, 5min Media will allow AOL to stream fresh new appealing content on their user network.

Also, not to be discarded, 5min Media's syndication platform will upgrade AOL's own tools, allowing the company to remain along the top experts and innovators in video content delivery.

Started as a video portal, 5min developed into a video syndication giant as time and technology evolved, currently also delivering its content to other services on the net, like DailyMotion and

The company has been flaunting a figure of 130 million video streams per month and over 20 million unique visitors, a pretty big number for a company only three years old.

5min Media is the second video delivery platform AOL has targeted this year, the first being the $36.5 million StudioNow back in January 2010.

“With 5min Media we’ll be able to add more video inventory to our pages. Importantly, we’ll also be able to identify video content holes among our sites, tap our StudioNow capabilities to fill those needs and create a truly ‘demand informed’ video library,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO.

Based on a different contract signed between the two companies before the acquisition was finalized, AOL has already begun to integrate 5min Media’s video content on its sites.

The trifecta ended with AOL also announcing a third acquisition, Thing Labs, the company that created the web-based social software Brizzly.

Maybe the most interesting deal of them all, this one has the most potential.

A regular favorite among social networking lovers, Brizzly allows easy content sharing among users.

Integrated with Twitter and Facebook, it allows a person to receive, update or send images, webcam streams or simple texts to their friends' network, on both social networks at the same time.

It's easy to see the future in this one, reminding you that AOL does one thing very good, and that is self promote.

Brizzly will stick around after the acquisition, but many of its tools and technologies will surely be integrated into AOL's main paltform.

Beside Brizzly's features, AOL will also empower Thing Labs management with the task of running AOL's Instant Messaging service, along with its lifestream service.

The acquisition tag is set to be between a minimum of $18 million and a maximum of $30 million based on different contract clauses.

Interesting fact, after this acquisition AOL now ownes two of the most respected, consulted and visited web-tech-pedias out there: CrunchBase and Brizzly Guide.

It would not be crazy at all if the two combined, bringing the vast knowledge base from CrunchBase together with Brizzly Guide's real-time social integration features.

This is a viable idea since Silicon Valley insider Louis Gray pointed out that several Thing Labs employees worked on Google Reader and Facebook's FriendFeed, services that heavily employ real-time update technology.

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