This week, Google announced that it would acquire Wildfire, a social media marketing company that is known for its Facebook contest and social media app. It is a strategy to help draw in advertisers and mobilize and monetize its Google+ users. And, my favorite quote thus far, “It also lands them in the bizarre position of overlords of a wealth of Facebook marketing data.” (Thank you, Search Engine Watch. The use of the word “overlord” will hook me everytime.)
“But, wait!” you say. “I thought we were told to not compare Facebook and Google+? That it wasn’t a social media platform; it’s a user experience above and beyond any of that.”
Yes. Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social business at Google, told you that himself the beginning of the month. But, c’mon, people. Of course Google cares about Facebook. With million Google+ users, you know it wants to lure people off Facebook and into its new whole-internet-with-the-user’s-identity-incorporated experience. The Street says Google is gunning for Facebook (in case you couldn’t tell from the title: Google Smells Facebook Blood, Buys Wildfire.)
Yes, Google doesn’t want Google+ to be another Facebook. It wants to loom larger over all of these social media platforms like that space ship did over the nation’s capital in the movie “Independence Day.” Like Phelps over Lochte in the 2008 Olympics. Like the Olsen twins on “Full House.” VentureBeat explains the reason for the acquisition:
"The Google party line is that the company wants to own (and eventually integrate) the online marketing experience, full stop. It wants to have a single destination where a brand marketing manager can go to create and control all online campaigns, from search marketing to Twitter CRM to Facebook campaigns, the whole shebang."
According to Search Engine Watch, Wildfire announced that it will continue to provide the same service and customer support it always has: “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 rich and satisfying experiences for their consumers. To this end, Wildfire will operate as usual, and there will be no changes to our service and support for our customers.”
It’s that “for now” part at the beginning of that quote that I’m sure has many at Facebook a little woozy. Facebook is where Wildfire made it big, offering apps for companies to easily and effortlessly run sweepstakes and was the biggest focus for the company.
Will this give Google the bump it has needed to propel Google+ (and entice users)?