Another one bites the dust: Former Facebook competitor and No. 3 social network hi5 was acquired by social discovery outfit Tagged Wednesday.
According to The Wall Street Journal‘s Digits blog, hi5 trailed only Myspace and Facebook in 2008, but Facebook’s international expansion caused the company to refocus on social games.
Tagged took a similar route, according to Digits, shifting from social networking to social discovery in 2007, and the hi5 acquisition will double its users base to 20 million from 10 million and triple its registered users to 300 million from 100 million.
About 30 percent of Tagged’s user base is in the United States, Digits reported, but hi5 has almost no presence in the country, instead having some success in Southeast Asia, South America, Spain, Portugal, and Romania.
Tagged Chief Executive Officer Greg Tseng told Digits there was an overlap of only about 10 percent between the user bases of the two companies, and the transaction covers the hi5 website and user base, although a few hi5 employees may join Tagged’s ranks, and he added:
The way you compete with Facebook is you become the leader in some other space. The downfall of Myspace and others was that they kept trying to compete head-on with Facebook and then pivoted too late. One strategy is for us to grow and dominate and take other social sites and pivot them.
And former hi5 President and Chief Technology Officer Alex St. John said in a statement:
At hi5, my colleagues and I recognized the unanswered opportunity to connect new people online. Tagged is the perfect home for hi5 as it continues to prove itself as a major contender in social.
Readers: Are any of you hi5 users?