Reports have it that Google has bought social apps platform Slide for a price tag ranging from $182 million to $228 million, depending on the sources. What we do know for a fact is that the Mountain View-based company is dumping Google Wave while also launching new features. Looking closer, all those separate moves seem to point to one thing: Google Me is on its way, big time.
Various Price Tags - One Single Goal: Google Me
TechCrunch sources valued the Slide acquisition at $182 million and said the news would come out on Friday. Sources at The New York Times said the deal came up to $228 million. The fact that matters at this point is that it's high time Facebook's former CTO Adam D'Angelo's words were taken seriously - Google is indeed working hard on building a social and gaming platform to be called 'Google Me'.
Last month, Google was already tipped to have invested somewhere around $150 million in social gaming platform Zynga. The company never confirmed this expenditure but CEO Eric Schmidt's statement to the Wall Street Journal last week was quite clear: "we haven't announced it" but "you can expect a partnership with Zynga" in the future, he said. This reported Slide acquisition add further more credibility to Google's real social intentions.
At the same time, Google announced it is shutting down Google Wave. Or not exactly, this is what it said: "We don't plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects." Google Wave being described as a "web app for real time communication and collaboration," it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to bet that the actual project would be integrated into Google's next big thing - again, the social platform Google Me.
If you are a Google Chrome user, take a look at your Gmail account, you will notice that the Google Wave drag and drop feature has already been 'recycled,' so to speak, to attachments received via the emailing platform. Drag those from the email and drop them onto your desktop to save them to your computer. Easy. And very practical if (and when) adapted to/integrated into a prospective social platform... If that were the case, it would be innovative as Google Me's main competitor, Facebook, does not offer such features - at least so far.
Last piece of the puzzle for now: Google now allows verified business owners on Google places to comment/reply on the reviews users write on their places. An efficient way to get user engagement from professional users as well as increase interactivity on the platform.
We'll keep our eyes peeled as we suspect there's going to be more. Google is really getting everything together towards its social goal, it seems.