Google purchases communications software provider SayNow, which bakes calling capabilities into Android, iPhone, Facebook and Twitter.
Google confirmed Jan. 25 that it has acquired SayNow
, a signal that the company wants to bring social
applications into its Google Voice phone management platform.
"SayNow will work closely with the Google Voice team, but we don't have
any specific plans to announce at this time," a Google spokesperson told
"We are impressed by the services they have already built, and we look
forward to working together to expand our voice-based technologies that better
The startup, which has more than 15 million users, provides voice messaging,
one-on-one conversations and group calls to be integrated into applications for
Facebook and Twitter, as well as Android and iPhone.
For example, ESPN in October added
SayNow's Voice App to its Facebook page, leaving a
message from former head coach and player Mike Ditka.
Other apps such as SayNow Broadcast enable brands and celebrities to
"broadcast and receive voice messages as well as chat one-on-one or in
groups with their audience."
SayNow was founded by CEO Nikhyl Singhal
and CTO Ujjwal Singh, who commented
"Through the Web, smartphones, and even land lines, our products
brought communities together through the power of voice. And as Google has some
of the best voice products in the world, we believe combining forces with the
Google Voice team will let us innovate in new and unexplored areas."
Like Google, Singhal and Singh declined to comment on Google's product plans
for SayNow but promised to reveal their work after integrating with Google.
It's not hard to guess where Google is going with SayNow, which sits at the
intersection of two of the company's major focuses in 2011: voice
communications and social software.
Google under co-founder Sergey Brin is layering social software
throughout the company's Web
services. Meanwhile, Google is also building out its Google Voice service, adding number portability
and other tools.
It's possible the company will stitch Google Voice calling capabilities
across its Web services, including providing click-to-call capabilities in the
context of any social services it adds.
The idea would be to boost user engagement on Google.com, which is now
getting beat in that area by Facebook.