02 April 2013

Rosetta Stone and LiveMocha to merge!

Just a couple of seconds ago, I got an email from LiveMocha announcing they're merging with Rosetta Stone.  I doubt this is strictly true -- I reckon RS have bought them out because they were offering a product that was a little too similar and was undermining the public perception of the value of RS.

One of my big worries about LiveMocha was always about the way they relied on free translations from the public, and the risk that they could just switch your translation off as soon as it interfered with their business model.

Take for example when the ActiveEnglish, French, Spanish, German and Italian came out: the free courses were just switched off (to new subscribers, anyway).  No, these weren't amateur translations, but it was still something of a warning sign.

Only a few days ago, I received another email from LiveMocha encouraging more and more translations from the "community".  But what future do they have when a large PLC with falling profits takes control of the company?  Rosetta Stone does already have a fairly wide range of languages that it wants an awful lot of money for, and a PLC has to serve the interests of its shareholders before those of the community.

I don't expect LiveMocha to survive in any real form after a tail off period of a year or two....

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