StudiVZ bought by Holtzbrinck

The biggest German social networking platform StudiVZ for college students was reportedly bought by the publishing group Holtzbrinck. StudiVZ is a complete mock-up of Facebook (what is an interesting fact in itself – is copying a business model, design and idea really acceptable when we are talking 100m Euros?). See the StudiVZ blog for the official announcement.

Holtzbrinck already runs the popular dating platform and with this acquisition they are extending their (potential) customer range to almost all age groups.

This is interesting in terms of research on online networks – and one of my earlier posts on the sustainablity of online ties – when students leave the phase in their life where they need to connect with other students, how are they going to maintain their ties? Will they delete their profiles/abandon the platform and are lost as customers to the platform providers? Holtzbrinck probably needs to think about an extension to cover the needs of their users beyond their college years (and aside from dating), something like openBC/Xing which might cover their professional needs.

About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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