Tagged, a social discovery site focused on meeting new people has acquired Hi5, the social gaming network led by the boisterous Alex St. John. Hi5’s goal over the last few years, after a major redesign, was to be a destination site for gamers and a place that gave game developers better tools and deals than were available on other social networks. We interviewed CEO Alex St. John at last year’s Casual Connect, and were impressed by his vision.
The acquisition will help Tagged — who also recently acquired a social game company WeGame earlier this year — find a direction for their discovery site. Clearly, they mean to have people use their site and meet one another by playing a slew of fun, interesting games. The move also comes at an opportune time — Zynga is going public today — to demonstrate that Tagged has a long term vision of gaming. Games have proven to be the key monetizing service on social networks, and any social network that aims to engage and earn decent ARPU (average revenue per user) must include games as part of their service.
Between the two networks, there will now be 230 million users signed up (100m from Tagged, 130m from Hi5), although there hasn’t been much clarity about how many of those users are monthly active users, which is the key statistic when it comes to measuring the strength of a network — I mean, ICQ still has hundreds of millions of registered accounts, I imagine, but how many people are logging in?
This is a significant development for Tagged, though, and we’ll be following their progress more closely to see how they do in the coming months.