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Social marketing a big deal? Google thinks so, buys Wildfire

Buying way into the social ad business, Google gets its hands on some viral marketing campaign experts.

Wildfire Google
Wildfire/Screenshot by Jonathan Skillings, CNET

Google announced today that it has acquired Wildfire, a startup with a viral marketing campaign platform and several offices stretching from Silicon Valley to Singapore.

Google product management director Jason Miller explained on the official Google blog that the merger of Google and Wildfire will create "new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services."

Wrote Miller: "The ultimate goal is better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions. People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one)."

Miller also described Wildfire as "a platform for brands to manage their pages, apps, tweets, videos, sponsorships, ads, promotions and more, all in one place." Thus, it looks like Google will be using its newly acquired assets for getting a new and fresher look at social marketing, which could influence the development of everything from Google+ to the search and advertising units.

Wildfire co-founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard added in prepared remarks on the Wildfire blog:

"We believe that over time the combination of Wildfire and Google can lead to a better platform for managing all digital media marketing. 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."

But the Wildfire leaders added that there will be "no changes to our service and support for our customers." Presumably Wildfire's teams scattered across the globe will remain intact and autonomous until further notice.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but AllThingsD reports that the estimated sale price is approximately $250 million.

This article was first posted as Google gets a new look at social marketing with Wildfire acquisition on ZDNet.