IAC, parent company of Ask.com, is planning to launch several new niche sites that incorporate search and social media. First up is RushmoreDrive.com, which has already launched and is targeted at the African-American community.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Green.com will be developed into a virtual world for children and “tweens” that will focus on environmental issues and encouraging good deeds. FiLife, currently a personal finance blog, will revamped as part of a partnership with News Corp.’s Dow Jones & Co., which publishes the Wall Street Journal.
Past IAC sites have been hit or miss. Pronto.com saw 9.1 million visitors in February 2008, up from 816,000 in February 2007. But comedy news site 23/6 saw numbers drop month-over-month from January to February 2008, with 52,000 and 36,000 respectively according to comScore. IAC disputed the numbers, claiming the site saw 685,000 visitors in March.
Meanwhile, Ask.com recently announced cuts to its workforce, eliminating 40 workers, which amounts to 40% of total employees.
Launching new sites isn’t the only change IAC is seeing. Recently, a Delaware court granted permission to pursue a breakup of the company, which will spin off 4 of its largest businesses into public companies.