Google confirmed in a blog post on Friday that it has acquired Slide, a social-media company that was founded by PayPal veteran Max Levchin and had built some of the earliest breakout hits on the Facebook platform. Levchin and the Slide employees will be transitioning over to Google.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but when, a price tag of about $182 million was floated around. Slide had raised a total of $78 million in venture capital over the years from firms like the Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, and T. Rowe Price, and at the height of Web 2.0 social-media fever it was rumored to have a paper valuation of nearly half a billion dollars.
"We're working to develop open, transparent, and interesting (and fun!) ways to allow our users to take full advantage of how technology can bring them closer to friends and family and provide useful information just for them," the post by Google engineering director David Glazer read. "Slide has already created compelling social experiences for tens of millions of people across many platforms, and we've already built strong social elements into products like Gmail, Docs, Blogger, Picasa, and YouTube. 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."
Google's attempts to make inroads in social networking,, have thus far been only lukewarm in their success. Early reports of the Slide acquisition had suggested that it would be focused on social gaming, in sync with Google's recent investment in FarmVille parent company Zynga. A Google insider suggested to CNET that it was less about games and more about sharing and social connections, which Glazer's blog post would seem to confirm.