ADOTAS – These days you can cut the social networking tension with a knife as two Internet superpowers — Google and Facebook — mobilize for battle. Friday Google added social widget maker Slide to its arsenal. The company builds apps and virtual goods for Facebook, MySpace and other social networks.
It seems to be a classic case of acqui-hiring as Slide’s 100 social media developers and founder Max Levchin, also famous for cofounding Paypal, will jump aboard the good ship Google. TechCrunch and The Wall Street Journal put the price tag at $180 million.
“As the Slide team joins Google, we’ll be investing even more to make Google services socially aware and expand these capabilities for our users across the web,” said Engineering Director David Glazer on the Google Blog
TechCrunch reported last week that Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundrota will be leading the company’s social networking efforts (“social czar,” as GigaOm dubbed him). Gundrota has been focused on Android and Google’s mobile efforts, but has had a hand in numerous Google endeavors. GigaOm applauded the selection, noting that “mobile looks to be be Google’s best front on which to wage a social war.”
So how is Facebook responding to the mysterious Google Me social network in development as well as recent news of a Google social gaming network and a music service? VentureBeat says CEO Mark Zuckerberg has turned on the neon “Lockdown” sign in his office — sources tell the publisher that for the next 60 days the Facebook office is open on weekends as engineers hunker down to upgrade the Photos, Groups and Events sections ahead of a Google launch.