Google has purchased Katango to automate the Circles process in Google+. It's the latest purchase by a company that has purchased nearly 60 companies this year.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) Nov. 10 said it has purchased Katango
, whose social software algorithms the
search engine provider will likely use to automate the population of Google+
With over 40
million users and counting since June 28, Google+ is humming along. Yet Google
has shown a compulsion to continually iterate and augment the Facebook
alternative, not unlike the way it constantly tunes its world-beating search
use Katango's software to improve its Circles social construct, which allows
users to follow anyone on the network and partition clusters of users. However,
Googlers were intentionally vague on the exact nature of the application of
Katango on Circles.
President of Product Management Bradley Horowitz did not make it clear in a brief
Google+ post on the matter. "In the earliest days of Google+, I alluded to
the fact that we had big plans for Circles," Horowitz wrote
. "Are you ready for some
magic in your Circles? These folks are magicians!"
Asked for more
information on the integration, a Google spokesperson told eWEEK:
"We were impressed by the Katango team's innovative
approach to making your social circles smarter, and we think they'll be a great
addition to the Google+ team."
Here's what we
know of Katango now, which sheds some light as to what its software will do for
Circles, courtesy of The New York Times
initially launched last summer as an iPhone application that dynamically
organizes Facebook friends based on their profile information, and historical
and present interactions with friends.
as the Times
noted, Katango will
detect who is a family member, who attended the same high school or who lives
in the same city, and place them in the relevant group. Those users can then
connect with each other on their own time.
not compatible with Google+ at launch, so some code tweaking is in order.
Yet it's easy
to see how such technology could be applied to make the population of Google+
Circles, which is currently completely manual and totally tedious, more
bearable. In fact, power Google+ users feeling Circle fatigue can't wait for
this technology to come to bear on the social network.
It remains to
be seen whether the technology will provide the nuances Google+ leadership
likes to say the social network was created to promote.
Katango joins newly acquired Apture
as one of the nearly 60
acquisitions Google has made in 2011, totaling over $1.4 billion. One of those,
Fridge, was snapped up back in July to boost Google+
Fridge specializes in letting users create private groups in social networks.