Google has bought US-based online marketing service Wildfire, reportedly for around $250m (£159m).
Redwood City, California-based Wildfire, founded in 2008 and now with around 400 staff, helps companies manage their accounts on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube - as well as online marketing campaigns. Google describes it as ‘a platform for brands to manage their pages, apps, tweets, videos, sponsorships, ads, promotions and more, all in one place.’
Jason Miller, Google's Product Management Director, said in a blog the ‘ultimate goal’ of the deal was ‘better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions’, explaining: ‘With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services. We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.’
Wildfire co-founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard said in their own blog: ‘We believe that over time the combination of Wildfire and Google can lead to a better platform for managing all digital media marketing.’
Some reports suggest Google will merge the firm with its online ad subsidiary DoubleClick, although Ransom and Chuard say on their blog that ‘Wildfire will operate as usual, and there will be no changes to our service and support for our customers.’
Wildfire, which is also the employer of Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi - giving the Facebook founder’s family a potential clash of loyalties - is online at www.wildfireapp.com