Google has been making headways of sorts into the social networking arena and many analysts believe that they are gearing themselves up for a concerted push at the social networking crown that is currently held by Facebook. While they already own a number of social networking sites, including Orkut which is apparently very popular in Brazil, they have yet to make a real splash in Europe and the US.
The launch of Google Wave was about as high profile as you could get and while it was dubbed as being a social networking service, in reality it turned out to be an overly complicated suite of collaborative and communicative tools. It was so overwhelming, in fact, that it attracted far too few users to make it viable and Google has pulled the plug on the project stopping all support to the Google Wave services.
This week’s deal, worth a reputed $228m in acquisition fees and employee retention bonuses, is actually the latest in a reasonably long list of social media related acquisitions and it seems that if they’re going to have another swing at the social media game then they’re going to do it big time. Having already purchased a major part of social gaming company Zynga, the acquisition of Slide is yet another feather in their social gaming and social media cap.
Slide was established by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and looks almost certain to be the latest step towards a service that has been dubbed Google ME. Presumably, they know that taking on a website that now has more than 500 million devoted users across the world is not going to be a quick and simple push and it is quite possible that there may be some games and other social media additions that will become Google ME exclusive. One thing’s for sure, they’re not buying these companies just to tell the grandchildren that they own and run the likes of SuperPoke!
Were you a Google Wave user?
Will you join Google ME as soon as it surfaces in the wild?