Google Buys Social Networking Site Fridge, Scoops up JustSpotted Team for Google+

Google has acquired and hired some new talent to beef up its Google+ social project group. Google acquired social networking startup Fridge last night for an undisclosed amount, and yesterday hired the team behind Scoopler to work on Google+.

Google Buys Fridge

Google Acquires FridgeGoogle’s goal for the four-person Fridge team is to work on groups, internally known as “shared circles,” for Google+, reported AllThingsD. Fridge provided “simple groups for personal and private sharing of media, events, and conversation. Anyone can easily create a group, invite friends, and have one place for specific conversations and shared photos, videos, events and more,” according to Fridge’s website.

"Right now, Google+ is asymmetric," co-founder Austin Chang told Business Insider. "We're going to help them create shared spaces."

“Fridge is closing up shop — the team will be folded into Google+, where we’ll continue some of our efforts,” the company announced on its blog. “We look forward to continuing the vision of creating fresh and exciting social group experiences for users across the web. Keep on keeping it fresh from Team Fridge, and see you on Google+.

According to BI, Fridge has 40,000 monthly uniques, and more than 20,000 groups have been created since the site launched last August.

Google Scoops Up Scoopler/JustSpotted Team

In another move to strengthen Google+, Google has hired the creators of of Scoopler and JustSpotted, TechCrunch reported. Scoopler’s team began as a realtime search engine in 2008 before ditching that last year to create JustSpotted, a site that reported on the whereabouts of any celebrity, based on realtime data.

To be clear, Google hasn’t acquired a company here. Both services have now been shut down.

Google is Serious About Social

CEO Larry Page last week used the phrase “more wood behind fewer arrows” to describe his philosophy behind making Google a more focused company. “Google+ is also a great example of another focus of mine—beautiful products that are simple and intuitive to use.”

Page has also tied a piece of all employees’ bonuses to the success of social this year. If nothing else, these acquisitions, hires, and Page’s comments should signal to everyone that Google is serious about making their social project work this time.

See "Who is Using Google+ and How Often [Stats]" for some early Google+ data. Below is a full list of Google's other acquisitions this year.

About the author

Danny Goodwin formerly was Associate Editor of Search Engine Watch, where he also covered the latest search marketing and industry news. He joined Incisive Media in October 2007, in charge of copy editing columns that appeared on both Search Engine Watch and ClickZ. Prior to a life in the search industry, he worked in the journalism field, working in numerous newsroom positions, before later working as a freelance copy editor.