Google has made at least three acquisitions to boost Google+: automated sharing concern Katango, social analytics provider SocialGrapple and social sharing specialist Fridge.
It's well known that
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has tacked on more than
100 feature changes and additions
to its Google+ social network since launching
it June 28.
But the company is also
buying small companies to round out its burgeoning social network.
Google's acquisition of Katango Nov. 10
is the third purchase by the company
this year to augment Google+, the company's swiftly evolving social network.
The search engine
provider, which is aiming for the hearts of Facebook's massive user base of 800
million people worldwide, also acquired SocialGrapple and Fridge to fortify the
fledgling network. Google+ likely has more than 50 millon users at this point. As
the network gets more crowded and active, it behooves the company to enable
users to manage their connections with greater efficiency.
Google+ Circles enable
users to follow any users they find on the network, from individuals to newly-available
Google+ brand Pages. However, this ability to pick and choose who to follow and
place people and brands in specific buckets can be cumbersome. Google acquired
Katango ostensibly to automate some of this friend-following work.
Katango makes social
software algorithms that detect connections between users. For example, 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.
Without explaining exactly
how it will use Katango's assets and talent, Google has said only that it was
impressed with Katango's ability to make social connections smarter. It's almost certain that Katango will help
Google+ automatically classify users, alleviating some of the social Circle
fatigue users feel.
Acquired in October, SocialGrapple's analytics software
detects changes in a user's social graph and
sends users interactive charts and email reports reflecting the data.
tracks every unique user who mentions a keyword and provides reports and
dashboard views of unique mentioners to
alert a brand owner when someone learns about their brand for the first time.
Such software would be
ideally suited to Google's new
Google+ Pages for brands
, which launched Nov. 7 to let celebrities, businesses
and organizations such as Pepsi, Toyota, Macy's and The Muppets tout their
wares on the social network.
Then there is Fridge,
which Google picked up in July
, less than a month after Google+ launched. Fridge fuels
the construction of private groups within social networks, as well as photo
sharing and event planning.
Fridge co-founder Austin
Chang is reportedly building shared Circles for Google+, adding yet another
measure of granularity to the Circles construct.
So it's readily apparent that
Google is not onlt building but buying its way to more nuanced sharing for its
social network, which is essentially the brand the company is angling to evolve
Google wants to be known
not just as a search provider, but a purveyor of social connections and
information sharing -- like Facebook but with Googley flavor.