Google Wildfire Acquisition Strengthens Social Media Offering
Google takes over social media startup in $100m deal
Google is expanding its social media operations with the acquisition of marketing startup Wildfire in a $250 million (£160 million) takeover.
The deal is the latest in a number of social media acquisitions by various Internet companies, including Google itself.
Wildifire was founded in 2008 by Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard and currently employees 400 people. It powers social media marketing to more than 60,000 businesses including 30 of the top 50 global brands.
The US-based startup helps manage social media accounts on a range of sites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, while it also provides software that links to these platforms. This allows its customers, which include Amazon and Sony, to manage their online brand and presence.
Google is expected to integrate Wildfire into its Doubleclick advertising platform.
“We truly could not think of a more perfect home for Wildfire. It makes us so happy to know that joining with Google will make it easier for us to realize our vision of changing the way the world markets and enable us to live up to our commitment to make Wildfire an incredible place for our team and our customers,” said its founders.
“For now, we remain focused on helping brands run and measure their social engagement and ad campaigns across the entire web and across all social services – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more – and to deliver rich and satisfying experiences for their consumers. To this end, Wildfire will operate as usual, and there will be no changes to our service and support for our customers.”
In June, Google bought social media platform Meebo in a $100 million takeover, before shutting down the majority of its services. The only survivor was the Meebo bar, a chat widget that allows users of a particular site to chat with each other.
Google has been pushing its social media offering heavily since the launch of Google+ last year and has improved connectivity with its other services such as Gmail and contacts.
It is hoping that such measures will allow it to fend off the threat of Facebook in the increasingly competitive online advertising market. Google is still the dominant player and is now challenging Facebook in display advertising, an area where Google has not been traditionally that strong.
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