Google Grabs SocialGrapple, Perhaps to Bring Analytics to Google+

Google acquired SocialGrapple for social analytics, whose founder will likely apply his social graph parsing talent to the Google+ social network.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has acquired a small social analytics startup called SocialGrapple, but won't disclose any other information about the deal other than that the company's founder is joining the company.

SocialGrapple was created by Andrey Petrov, who described the tool as a Twitter analytics tool that tracks changes in a user's social graph and sends users interactive charts and email reports reflecting the data. Google runs a growing social network called Google+. Do the math and it isn't hard to see why Google desired Petrov.

Petrov launched SocialGrapple a year ago, and noted in a Website that that he "explored keyword tracking and branched out to other social networks, but this was only scratching the surface. I'm looking forward to taking these ideas to the next level and revealing metrics on an incredibly larger scale."

That larger scale is likely to be the growing Google+ palette, which could have between 40 million and 60 million users, depending on whose market metrics you choose to believe. Google has added well over 100 features to its social network since launching it June 28 and expanding to public beta Sept. 20.

For example, the company added full Web search to its search box, made Google+ Hangouts mobile and added a number of control features, including the ability to disable comments and lock posts.

One glaring hole in Google+ has been the ability to analyze users; social graphs could be a huge boon to Google+ users who plan to launch business accounts on the platform.

When Google makes its platform available to business brands, it could also charge them for analytics to better target consumers with their marketing messages. Twitter and Facebook offer similar analytics tools for marketers. Here is how Petrov described his keyword analytics:

"Track a detailed list of anyone who mentions your brand in the Twitter ecosystem. Alongside archiving every tweet matching your keyword and visualizing your growth of volume, SocialGrapple also tracks every unique user who mentions the keyword. By viewing reports of new unique mentioners, you will know when somebody learns about your brand for the first time. Reacting to new unique mentions lets you look past the fanatics you've already converted and get a head start on new potentials while you're still fresh in their minds."

Petrov's skills would be well-suited to this task within Google, where the resources will enable him to build social analytics on a scale enjoyed by the likes of (NASDAQ:SFDC), which acquired Radian6 this year for analytics, and VMware, which bought Socialcast for social analytics.

In the meantime, as with so many other social services Google and Facebook buy and uproot, SocialGrapple is shutting down.

Petrov said all payment subscriptions have been canceled and users must download their SocialGrapple data by Nov. 8, 2011, or it will be deleted.