Yahoo has of course tried to buy other companies unsuccessfully in the past (most recently Foursquare, according to rumor) so it’s not clear it will happen. But this deal strikes me as a particularly good fit for Yahoo and could represent the company’s way in to a bona fide social network play that has long eluded it.
Google has been getting all the attention for the rumored Google Me and its bid to break into social gaming. But the success of that collective endeavor remains purely hypothetical at this point. CafeMom is already a success and could live side-by-side with Yahoo’s Shine brand.
CafeMom is relatively small by social networking standards, but it has a powerful audience that makes most of the major household purchase decisions in the US. From the CafeMom’s site:
As the #1 media property for moms, CafeMom reaches 6.7MM unique visitors per month on cafemom.com (comscore, May 2010) and 18MM+ unique visitors per month on CafeMom Plus (comscore, May 2010), a boutique network of sites that reach moms and parents. CafeMom also delivers engagement with more than 100MM pageviews and tens of millions of minutes of time spent per month on CafeMom.com.
BabyCenter and Glam might dispute the #1 media property characterization. Regardless it’s a marquee “mom property.” Yahoo’s own data show the power and importance of women online and moms in particular:
Women make roughly 85% of household buying decisions . . . 44% of women say they get information about products and brands on women’s lifestyle sites.
Granted CafeMom hasn’t got the “crossover appeal” of a Facebook but there are 82 million US moms (of all ages) according to the Census Bureau. And you can obviously see a great match between Yahoo’s display and brand advertisers (think Target) and the highly desirable, highly qualified CafeMom audience.