Widget distributor Clearspring has acquired AddThis, a popular social bookmarking tool, for an undisclosed amount of money. “AddThis is the biggest little thing on the Web,” Clearspring Chief Executive Hooman Radfar told Reuters.
Clearspring is a widget syndication service that connects web publishers and advertisers to the social 2.0 crowd out there. All 10,000 registered web publishers can easily create widgets, distribute them to users and then track and monetize the nifty little things. Examples are basketball fans who place a widget containing the stats of their favorite player on their Facebook profile.
You probably know AddThis from the little buttons beneath blog posts, with which you can easily share the content with friends, family, and the rest of the world. According to HitWise, AddThis is more popular than Yahoo, Delicious, or ShareThis.com.
Clearspring raised a total amount of $36 million in the last two years, with a round of $18 million four months ago, thus an acquisition of a service that complement theirs isn’t too surprising. Although we’ll probably see the same reactions as when Sphere got acquired by AOL for about $25 million: are those little buttons actually a business?