Cisco Buys Social Networking Software

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Cisco Systems, a company known for its computer networking services and its equipment sales through the Linksys brand, has acquired the rights to social networking software from Utah Street Networks, a software company that operates the social network Tribe.net.

Cisco has purchased “select assets” from Utah Street and intends to instill the acquired software platform within its Cisco Media Solutions Group, a division that focuses on infrastructure and social networking development for media content owners.

Last week, the New York Times speculated that with the Utah Street deal, Cisco, whose current business is aimed at the telecom industry and large companies, could be giving itself a more consumer-friendly face.

In February, Cisco acquired Five Across a company that develops software that lets companies integrate community features and user-generated content like audio, video, photos and blogs. Both the Five Across team and several former Utah Street employees, who will be joining Cisco as part of today’s deal, will work under the same banner. Cisco implies that it will attempt to integrate the two services.

The company hasn’t released the financial details of the deal, but Cisco said it has only purchased parts of Utah Street, but not Tribe.net, which will remain independent.

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