Imagine being given a cheque for $850m. Seriously, think about it for a second. The interest alone would net you a cool $29,750,000 every year in the US. Not sure about you, but I think that’s a serious chunk of change.

Let’s take another figure, say $225m. OK, given the choice between $850m and $225m it’s obvious which one you’d take, but forgive me if I bite the hand off the person who offers me $225m for my website.

So, what on Earth am I talking about here? Believe it or not, these are the latest figures for corporate take overs of Bebo and Digg respectively.

Bebo is a large social networking site that claims to have over 40m users worldwide. It is the 3rd largest social network after MySpace and Facebook (both of which were bought for $580m and $280m).

But large buyouts of this kind are not confined to the big players, in 2007 a facebook clone (literally down to the last detail!) called Studivz was bought out by a single investor for $132m. The unique thing about Studivz was that it was aimed at a niche (albeit a fairly broad niche). The niche was a social network for German speaking people.

So, like Studivz, how can you jump on this bandwagon of massive buyouts (and lets face it, I think we’d all be quite happy with a paltry $10m)? First off, target a niche – whether it be by country, region, language, interest, cause or whatever. The days of being able to start large generic social networks are over. It is the time of the niche social network.

Define your niche properly before you start, and you too could get a knock at your door with someone trying to offer you millions for your little piece of the web.

Interested in finding out how you can set up your own turnkey social networking software? Want to run a face like YouTube? Think you can make a better job of Facebook (let’s be honest, with the countless thousands of ‘apps’ now available, it’s becoming more like MySpace everyday)?

Come and check out Agriya’s Social Networking software, with turnkey prices starting at just $399.