There have been enough rumors over the last couple of days that you could have turned it into a drinking game. But I now see speculation on Om’s blog, as well as over on Niall’s site, so, with a caution that it’s utterly unconfirmed, I’ll simply repeat what I’ve heard: There is a persistent rumor that photo site Riya — which was supposed to launch later this week — has been bought by Google for as much as $60–million.
If it’s true, a photo site for so much, you wonder: Why? Well, because Riya has some working technology embedded in its web service for doing face recognition, such that, in theory, you could show it a few friends and family members in some photos, and it would spot and label those people in others it came across. Nice, and certainly the sort of thing a Google would find useful, assuming it works and it’s scalable.
But is it $60mm worth of useful? I guess it depends on whether you’re a founder, an investor, or an observer, doesn’t it.