Are you a social media start-up? Try pitching your business plan to Google (GOOG) -- it's taking swings at social media deals. In the last month alone, Google has acquired social games developer SocialDeck, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal; Angstro, which draws in data from other social networking sites with its apps; and Slide, an apps developer for photo-sharing on networking sites.
These acquisitions are designed to enable Google to take on social networking giant and advertising rival Facebook, which recently bragged that some of its advertisers have increased their ad-spend by 20-fold or more in the past year. The stickiness that comes with social networking features, as users are entertained and engaged by the site and linger on the pages, is something advertisers seek out. Google is looking for new ways to ramp up advertising revenue and safely keep it ahead of spending, which in the second quarter grew at a faster rate than Wall Street had anticipated.
CEO Eric Schmidt recently told CNBC that Google was looking to integrate social media features into its services, instead of creating a Facebook-like page. Earlier this year, for example, Google acquired Aardvark, which operates a search engine that allows users to pose questions to their friends, as well as to their friends' networks, and receive quick replies.
One way Schmidt is looking to get there, apparently, is through acquisitions. He told CNBC that Google is averaging two acquisitions a month. A comprehensive list of Google's past acquisitions, going back to 2001, can be viewed on this handy chart by Scores.org.
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