MTV Networks buys Social Project platform

Already the basis for its social-networking software, Flux, Social Project will become an MTV Networks property but will still be open to outside clients.

NEW YORK--Viacom division MTV Networks announced Monday that it has turned its minority stake in software company Social Platform into a full acquisition: Social Project, formerly known as Tagworld, is the basis for Viacom's Flux.

MTV Networks launched Flux just over a year ago as a social-networking platform that would be used across all its digital entertainment properties as well as eventually sites outside Viacom. The original Tagworld investment started in November 2006. Flux now powers community features on MTV.com, Colbert Nation, Atom.com, and other Viacom-owned sites, allowing users to access all of them with a single login and profile.

"The web is fragmenting," said Mika Salmi, president of global digital media at MTV Networks in a press conference on Monday, describing Flux as an "open, flat, and connected" technology. "People are attracted to niches and to what they're really interested and passionate about, and we as a company have a history in the cable business of going after niches."

In conjunction, MTV promoted Joshua Dern from vice president of social media strategy to senior vice president and general manager of social media.

Earlier this month, MTV launched what is arguably its most high-profile social initiative ,Backchannel, which uses Flux profiles and credentials to power a game centered around the hit show The Hills.

But the service won't become an MTV exclusive. "Even though they're now part of us, we still want them to work with outside Web sites," Salmi said of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Social Project.

"We will let anyone use the Flux network, with few exceptions," Dern said, adding that the lone exception is...porn.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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