Google has bought social widget maker Slide, for a reported $180m, as the search giant looks to expand into the lucrative apps market.
The deal gives Google a team of developers with extensive social networking experience.
A person familiar with the situation said the deal was valued at about $180 million, similar to the price tag reported by technology blog TechCrunch on Wednesday.
In announcing the takeover Friday, Google engineering director David Glazer said the company would be “investing even more to make Google services socially aware” and expand the social-networking capabilities further across the Web, according to a post on the company’s official blog.
On Slide’s own site, founder and Chief Executive Max Levchin called the combination a great opportunity “to come together to change the way people socialize on the Web,” given the two firms’ shared vision and values.
Slide develops applications for Facebook, MySpace and other social-networking sites, but the person familiar with the situation said Google was primarily motivated by the opportunity to add a team of about 100 developers who have years of experience in the social networking arena.
The deal is part of a renewed push by Google to give people new ways to interact with Google products across the Web, an effort which Vice President of engineering Vic Gundotra has been assigned to oversee, the person said.
Google is under increasing pressure to boost its social networking presence to counter Facebook, which recently topped more than 500 million users and is aggressively moving to develop its advertising business.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Google has been in discussions with top developers to offer their games on a new service it is building. Those developers include Playdom Inc., Electronic Arts Inc.’s Playfish and Zynga Game Network Inc.–a company in which Google recently took a financial stake, the Journal reported.
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