Google has acquired ad company Wildfire to help businesses handle their social media strategies.
Jason Miller, product management director at Google, said in a blog post on Tuesday that Wildfire will help the search giant’s users “manage their social efforts across their pages, apps, tweets, videos, sponsorships, ads and promotions, all in one place”.
Google said Wildfire co-founders, Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard, and the team will assist through its advertising and analytics tools with the “ultimate goal [of] better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions”.
The startup said it trusts integration with Google will result to “a better platform for managing all digital media marketing” over time.
“For now, we remain focused on helping brands run and measure their social engagement and ad campaigns across the entire web and across all social services – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more – and to deliver satisfying experiences for their consumers,” says a post on the Wildfire blog.
Somehow, several industry experts and followers believe that Wildfire could help Google in its rivalry with the current social networking leader, Facebook.
For now, Google Analytics has no links to application programming interfaces (APIs) from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, which means it cannot offer refined details on social interactions such as likes or shares.
The acquisition of Wildfire could mean that Google wants to exert more in gathering intelligence from social interaction sources of data that are more valuable.
We have yet to see how Google will take advantage of the data that Wildfire pulls together from its social networking rivals in helping to inform ads on the online advertising company’s own sites or in its across-the-board ad network.
Although it manages activities on Twitter, LinkedIn and other companies, a brief look at Wildfire’s websites or recently published research shows that its business model is hooked with Facebook in particular.
While Google considers that Wildfire will keep on serving its current clients in dealing with campaigns on Facebook and other places, we wonder whether Facebook will, or could, stop Wildfire from linking up to its platform hereafter, or only make it harder to accomplish the feat.
The blog post added that Wildfire will continue operations notwithstanding Google’s acquisition, saying, “There will be no changes to our service and support for our customer,” it said.
Wildfire is a four-year-old startup used by companies such as the Virgin companies, Cirque du Soleil and Gilt Group.