A number of technology companies are acquiring startups that will help them offer their customers a way to manage their presence on social networks. Salesforce.com announced in June it was acquiring social media marketing firm Buddy Media. Oracle acquired last month Involver whose Social Markup Language enables developers to create customized marketing applications for social media sites and web campaigns. It announced in May that it was acquiring Vitrue, another social media marketing company. Then Google Inc. has announced it is buying Wildfire. Wildfire is a startup specialising in advertising on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Google will pay about $250 million plus performance incentives for Redwood City, California based Wildfire, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the price wasn’t publicly disclosed. Rob Shilkin, a spokesman for Google, declined to comment.
Wildfire Started 4years ago in Redwood City, California, is focused on helping brands optimize their presence across various social networks. It offers a software platform that integrates directly with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Wildfire claims they serve some 16,000 customers, including 30 of the top 50 brands, with its nearly 400 employees. “We believe that over time the combination of Wildfire and Google can lead to a better platform for managing all digital media marketing,” said company founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard in a blog post.
It’s an important area for Google as people spend more time on social networks such as Facebook and as advertisers follow them. Google’s social network, Google+, hasn’t had the traction that Facebook enjoys. Wildfire will let Google Play a role whether the ad campaign is on Google+, Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere.
Wildfire’s co-founders and other staff will join Google.