Update: Om Malik updates that the tentative confirmation of the deal is at $40M
This is (or should I say was) expected. Google showing its interests in Riya, for the tunes of $40-60M. There is a lot of talk on the blogosphere (Om, Niall, Paul) today about Google aquiring Riya. None has been confirmed by either of the sides to the moment.
Opportunities: Google already has a nice user base in the picture management domain by virute of Picasa. Riya would be a nice add-on on top of Picasa’s current capabilities. Picasa’s Timeline functionality can nicely use Riya’s search technology to provide a new and improved Timeline for a particular tag from your picture collection.
Riya has been gathering a huge fan base since Munjal started posting up-to-date status on his blog. The team has been doing long hours to get out the alpha, though I didnt hear much about the first wave of alpha invites. Was there ever a second wave of alpha invites? Not sure. It seemed that the first alpha testers gave a lot of feedback to stall the second group of invites (just my guess though).
Google on the other hand might look at this as another aquisition opportunity in its current aquisition mode. Given the feedback its getting for Picasa, this could be a wise investment. Also looking at the way Google is providing server-space and bandwidth in terms of GMail and Google Base, this would be a no brainer for Google to integrate Riya’s services within its existing services.