Jason is a staff writer for the Social Media category of Justmeans. Along with being a professional freelance blogger and community manager, Jason is also the social media account manager for Sparkplug Digital, an internet marketing firm based out of Seattle WA. He believes in honest community building and using the social web for branding, marketing, public relations and as a forum to bring aware...
Google Purchases Angstro in an Attempt to Further its Social Media Strategy
Earlier this year Google tried to compete in the social media space by offering up a new social networking service called Google Buzz. Although there was a lot of buzz around Google Buzz when it first launched, it would be a far stretch of the imagination to call the social networking service anything close to resembling successful. Buzz works well and was a nice concept, but the service never really gained any traction. Add it to the list of Google's unimpressive attempts at being social. Google Lively and Google Wave never really caught on and Orkut has remained relatively obscure in the United States.
In a move designed to strengthen the companies grasp on the social web, Google has just recently purchased a startup called Angstro. The service acts as an aggregator that gathers the most relevant information regarding material your friends post on the web and puts it all in once place that is easy to read and browse through. The service can collect updates from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. In simplest terms Angstro can be defined as a type of social search engine. The company claims to deliver very few, but very intelligent results. It's still a mystery how exactly Google will use this new tool in its strategy, but the purchase is far from surprising. All that remains on the Angstro website is a contact form, an about and privacy page, and a collection of blog posts. The latest blog post is a farewell sendoff, however it's believed that a portion of the small team will transfer over to Google.
The purchase of Angstro is just another calculated move in Google's overall plan to compete on the social web. Earlier this year the company bought out a social search company called Aardvark and they've owned a micro blogging service called Jaiku for awhile now. The recent acquisitions are solid proof that Google is positioning itself to create a Facebook competitor. The new social networking service is being largely kept secret, however it's no mystery that Google wants a slice of Facebook's pie. Although there has yet to be an official announcement, the service is under the working title of Google Me. Its been rumored that Google Me will improve upon Buzz and have stronger privacy guidelines than Facebook. Google is already in talks with social gaming site Zynga, which may or may not play a role in Google Me.
Right now the pressure is on Google to create a winner. Facebook has a undeniably large hold on the social networking market and although there have been challengers (such as the forthcoming Diaspora), there has yet to be a viable alternative. All eyes will be on Google in the coming months as they mount what can only be called their most ambitious and pressing attempt at going social.