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Google buys Wildfire start-up to boost social media presence

Google is pushing its social media presence a little further, with the help of newly acquired social media management firm Wildfire Interactive.

The search giant has taken the four-year-old start-up under its wing, announcing that the Wildfire team, led by co-founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard, are joining the Mountain View company, and bringing with them an expertise in managing content, ads, and promotions across Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

"We truly could not think of a more perfect home for Wildfire," Ransom and Chuard wrote on the platform's blog.

Over time, the combined efforts of Google and Wildfire will lead to a better management of digital media marketing, the firms said.

The ultimate goal, according to Google product management director Jason Miller, is better and fresher content, with more meaningful interactions.

"People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible," Miller said. "Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one)."

Wildfire will operate as usual, the founders said, with no service or support interruptions to its customers.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though the Wall Street Journal estimates the acquisition to have been worth $250 million (£160 million).

Google has been working for some time to stay in the social media game, providing services like Google Analytics to help businesses measure social sites' contributions, as well as Admeld, which serves ads in Facebook developers' social apps, and its DoubleClick platform, which allows clients to run and measure ads across social sites.

With the addition of Wildfire, the company is aiming to create new opportunities for clients to engage with people across multiple social services.

"We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses," Miller said.

Since launching in 2008, Wildfire has worked with businesses including Virgin, Cirque du Soleil, Gilt Group, and Spotify, helping to manage their social efforts.

"It's a platform for brands to manage their pages, apps, tweets, videos, sponsorships, ads, promotions and more, all in one place," Miller said on the company blog.