CNET Networks to Acquire Webshots

Posted on July 23, 2004

CNET Networks, Inc. announced that it plans to acquire privately-held Twofold Photos, Inc., and its Webshots website. Webshots is the leading website in the photography category, and it boasts the largest publicly available collection of shared photo content. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2004. The news comes just as Google Inc. announced it acquired Picasa, Inc., a Pasadena, Calif.-based digital photo management company.

Webshots has amassed a public collection of 58 million photographic images and more than 300,000 new photos uploaded daily. More than 14 million people visit the Webshots community each month to browse, share and engage with fellow users about photos in a range of categories, such as travel, sports and recreation, birthdays, and weddings. The site averages 20 million page views each day. CNET Networks plans to enhance Webshots with relevant content. such as digital camera reviews, help and how-to's, and shopping services, from its other websites.

"Our acquisition of Webshots is an outstanding example of strategically investing in assets that allow us to continue to fuel the growth of CNET Networks," said Shelby Bonnie, chairman and chief executive officer of CNET Networks. "Webshots is a market leader with a large, passionate audience that complements the other market-leading properties in our personal technology, and games and entertainment categories, like CNET.com, Download.com, GamesSpot and MP3.com. We see a significant growth opportunity in emerging digital lifestyle categories and we are well positioned with high quality properties that have the scale to satisfy both our users and marketing partners."

The Internet has enabled digital photo sharing to become a killer personal technology application, with significant growth opportunities. Digital cameras now reside in 39 percent of U.S. households, and unit sales are expected to increase by more than 30 percent this year. Digital camera owners also take a lot more pictures than they did when shooting with film. In addition, many Internet users don't ever print any of their digital photos, which creates an opportunity for websites like Webshots and Picasa, that allow people to share digital photos. With more people combining their use of the Internet with digital photography, leading Web companies like CNET and Google are grabbing up the niche digital photography website.

"CNET Networks is the leading interactive content company with a history of building engaging environments for passionate users and a marketing infrastructure that will take our business to a higher level," said Narendra Rocherolle, founder and co-CEO of Webshots. "We are excited to work with the CNET Networks team to continue to innovate for our users and to grow Webshots.com."