Google has finally confirmed that it has acquired social widget company Slide, a headline that first surfaced in the blogosphere earlier this week.
The acquisition pushes Google further into the social networking business, if you will. The company's strategy on social is still unclear and there have been many who have questioned whether or not it's in Google's DNA to be "social" in that sense. After all, building people relationships via algorithms is no easy task. (Om Malik has a great post on his blog about the desire to become something you're not, using his own real-world example to paint the picture.)
Can Google go head-to-head with the force that's already been built around Facebook? Some have their doubts. Still, Google has its sight set on bringing people together under its umbrella. From its blog post:
For Google, the web is about people, and we’re working to develop open, transparent and interesting (and fun!) ways to allow our users to take full advantage of how technology can bring them closer to friends and family and provide useful information just for them. Slide has already created compelling social experiences for tens of millions of people across many platforms, and we’ve already built strong social elements into products like Gmail, Docs, Blogger, Picasa and YouTube. As the Slide team joins Google, we’ll be investing even more to make Google services socially aware and expand these capabilities for our users across the web.
The company didn't give up any details on its plans for the product and how it will incorporate it into existing products, nor did it share any of the financial terms of the deal. TechCrunch, citing unnamed sources, reported earlier this week that the deal carried a price tag of $182 million, plus another $46 million in employee retention bonuses.