Google Buys Fridge to Make Google+ Circles Cooler

Google purchased Fridge and its talent to work on improving Google+, the companies confirmed. Fridge engineers will help add shared Circles to the social network.

Download the authoritative guide: Big Data: Mining Data for Revenue

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which has been moved to put "more wood behind fewer arrows" of late, is putting more wood behind its Google+ social network, which comScore said has topped 20 million users.

To that end, the search engine acquired small social startup Fridge, whose software facilitates the construction of private groups within social networks, as well as photo sharing and event planning.

Financial terms of the deal were not made public.

Both Google and Fridge confirmed the buy July 21. A Google spokesperson told eWEEK: "The Fridge team shares our vision of bringing the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the Web, and we're excited that they'll be joining Google."

Fridge co-founder Austin Chang at least confirmed he and his small team will be working on the Google+ social network, noting in a company blog post:

"We strongly believe in the group social experience and couldn't think of a better place to realize our vision of bringing the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the Web as part of the Google+ Project."

Chang added that he and his team will "continue some of our efforts" working with the existing Google+ team. Chang told AllThingsDigital that two people from Fridge are joining Google, and told Business Insider they will build shared Circles for the company.

To wit, Fridge is closing; users will no longer be able to post anything new to Fridge and can download and save their data until Aug. 20, 2011, at 6 p.m. EDT, after which time Fridge will delete all user data.

In other Google social media acquisitions that are likely Google+ related, TechCrunch said Scoopler quietly closed shop and its founders AJ Asver, Dilan Jayawardane and Benjamin Tauber joined Google to work on Google+.