Baby Center Buys Maya's Mom For Its Social Skills; Affiliate Network Next

BabyCenter continues its rebirth as a media company with the acquisition of social networking site Maya's Mom and will use it to more rapidly scale its social networking capabilities and create an affiliate network for advertisers.

By acquiring Maya's Mom, BabyCenter can quickly enter the marketplace with a viable social media platform to create an affiliate network program, deploy a white-label solution and maintain Maya's Mom's own white-label program targeting local mom groups throughout the country, said Baby Center Global President and Chairman Tina Sharkey.

In addition, Sharkey said, the audience of moms reached by the site have children closer to age 5 on average, which provides a strong bridge from BabyCenter (birth to 36 months) to sister site ParentCenter.com (for older children).

As part of the agreement, Maya's Mom will remain a stand-alone property led by current CEO Ann Crady. Terms were not disclosed.

Just last week, the 10-year-old BabyCenter.com unveiled a redesign based on an open-source platform. Sharkey, who joined the Johnson & Johnson unit in January, is a veteran of iVillage and AOL. She has since brought several of her AOL colleagues on board in senior roles.

Baby Center is not the only Web property using acquisitions as a way to accelerate social networking capabilities. Scripps Network has made two acquisitions this summer in part for their social networking capabilities: Recipezaar and Incando.

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