Deja Vu, Webshots Gets Sold.. Again and Again and Again...

from the hot-potato dept

In its Thursday earnings call, CNET announced that it sold photo-sharing site Webshots to American Greetings for $45 million in cash. This is yet another chapter in the crazy history of Webshots. Launched in 1996, the founders sold their company to Excite for $84 million in 1999. After the whole dotcom deflation, the founders bought their own company back for $2.4 million in 2002. Then, two years later in 2004, it sold Webshots to CNET for a cool $70 million. So, this week's acquisition marks the fourth time that this property has changed hands.

When CNET purchased Webshots in 2004, it was quietly one of the most trafficked photo-sharing sites on the web. However, momentum and buzz was all around media-darling Flickr and uber-popular MySpace tools like Photobucket, which, according to Alexa, both gained on and then passed Webshots in traffic. Webshots tried to turn the tide by jumping on the video bandwagon, adding social networking features, and launching a photobucket-like blind hosting service, but to not much avail. True, Comscore reports that Webshots is growing again this year while Alexa reports no such growth, but at least the two measures agree on the fact that Webshots growth and audience both pale in comparison with its competitors.

The bigger question remains though -- what is the new owner of Webshots, American Greetings, going to do with the site? American Greetings has made a few web acquisitions in the past, and now owns eGreetings and former #1 traffic king, Blue Mountain Greetings. However, both of those sites are greetings sites, which made perfect sense for them. If this isn't the right place for Webshots, will we yet see another sale for Webshots next year?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

    Overcast, Oct 26th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Thought I already read something about this.... hmm


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    The Dish, Oct 26th, 2007 @ 1:47pm


    Can we all just agree that Alexa is really not a great tool for judging the web browsing habits of anyone other than Alexa users?


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2007 @ 7:43am

    I have a webshots account and get like 3000 hits a week and feel like i deserve a coffee mug


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Recent Stories
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.