WordPress Making Its Social Networking Move?

A few months ago, Anne Zelenka wrote about how WordPress could serve as the underpinning of a social network, an idea first postulated by Chris Messina. Of course when Automattic, the startup behind WordPress.com’s hosted service, raised a whopping $29.5 million in VC funding recently, I speculated that they might be adding social networking features to there service.

Now it is almost certain — Automattic just hired Andy Peatling, the guy who created BuddyPress, a WordPress-based social network. On his blog, Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic and creator of WordPress, writes:

It’s clear that the future is social. Connections are key. WordPress MU is a platform which has shown itself to be able to operate at Internet-scale and with BuddyPress we can make it friendlier. Someday, perhaps, the world will have a truly Free and Open Source alternative to the walled gardens and open-only-in-API platforms that currently dominate our social landscape.

Disclosure: GigaOM and Automattic have a common investor, True Ventures.