Six Apart today officially announced that it has acquired Danga Interactive, Inc., the operators of LiveJournal, for an undisclosed amount of stock and cash. The company is claiming a userbase of above 6.5 million users, but as per our post of yesterday, the true figure of live users is closer to 3.5 million consisting of approximately 1 million SixApart customers (including MT users) and 2.5 million Live LiveJournal users, as opposed to the 3 million additional inactive LiveJournal accounts SixApart is quoting.
The acquisition takes SixApart from up and coming blogging company to world leader in the sector and as a bolt on acquisition is an extremely smart move from Mena and friends, and for this they should be congratulated.
In a post to her blog, Mena Trott has denied rumours that SixApart intends to start charging for LiveJournal, close the LiveJournal source, own the content on LiveJournals, force the users to use TypePad/Movable Type and plaster their sites with advertisements.
She does, however list a number of changes that will be made, including the inclusion of trackback to LiveJournal blogs, and unification through APIs, syndication formats and shared functionality. She also commits to keeping the LiveJournal code Open Source, although as LiveJournal has apparently never specified (from what we can see) which Open Source license it uses, and the integration of SixApart owned proprietary features which are not open source into the core code, should provide some interesting challenges for the SixApart team.
Brad Fitzpatrick comments on LiveJournal that the most significant change for LiveJournal users will be a new Term of Service, the contents of which are yet to be revealed.