XOOM.com Looks To Enhance Community Offerings

XOOM.com Inc. Thursday purchased Paralogic Software Corp., whose offerings include technology to create and support online communities, for $34 million in stock.

XOOM said Anexa.com, Paralogic’s online community service, will enhance its own community offerings by giving XOOM.com members the ability to create clubs and communities that include chat, message boards and other features. Users can also personalize community offerings.

The acquisition will also give XOOM.com ParaChat, Paralogic’s Java-based chat solution.

Chris Kitze, XOOM’s chairman and co-founder, said the acquisition will allow the company to rapidly grow its member base.

“We believe Anexa.com users will contribute to the organic growth of membership by inviting other individuals to join. Private online communities like those created with Anexa.com are very sticky and will help increase the frequency and duration of members’ visits to XOOM.com,” he said.

Duration of member visits is important to online communities and portals since they are advertising supported.

Anexa.com allows users to participate in Java-based chat rooms and discussion forums, post photos and multimedia files, share events and announcements with other community members, host their own community and post and browse classified advertising.

This has been a busy week for XOOM.com. On Tuesday, NBC agreed to invest another $25 million in the online community.

The investment comes on the heels of last month’s merger between XOOM, NBC and Snap.com!, co-owned by NBC and CNET, to create NBC Internet, or NBCi. Announced in mid-May,
NBCi will reportedly be the seventh-largest Internet site and will be the first publicly-traded Internet company aligned with a major broadcaster. Snap! will be the venture’s umbrella consumer brand.

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