Google Targets Facebook’s Apps. Acquires Slide Inc

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It seems Google is closing corners to launch its social networking initiative  – Google Me, a Facebook competitor. With its latest move – acquisition of Slide Inc, a social widget makes, clearly indicates the head path of the company. Slide Inc develops applications and virtual goods for Facebook, MySpace and other websites.

Sources, familiar with such acquisition, confirmed that Slide acquisition is an initiative to strengthen social media development team inside Google as prime objective besides other purpose. A Technology blog Techcrunch valued the deal size $180 million. Slide Inc has 100 developers experienced in social media industry. The San Francisco company was started in 2005 by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, who will join Google.

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 blog.

Google has been in discussions with top developers to offer their games on a new social networking initiates from company, according to people familiar with the matter. Those developers include Playdom Inc., Electronic Arts Inc.’s Playfish and Zynga Game Network Inc., these people have said.
On official notes, current acquisition is meant to make existing Google services like Gmail, Buzz, Docs etc more social media friendly and integrated. But few analyst assumes the acquisition is another move to come closer to launch of new social networking initiatives, company is working currently, named GoogleMe unofficially. Google has been under tremendous pressure to launch its social networking website to encounter Facebook popularity which recently achieved the milestone of 500 million users.
Some of Google’s earlier efforts to crack the social networking market have ended in disappointment. These included Dodgeball, a mobile social-networking service that let users share their location with friends, microblogging service Jaiku and more recently Google Buzz, a social-networking service tied to Gmail that got off to a bad start when users complained about privacy violations.

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