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Google adds new talent for social network Google+

July 21, 2011 | 11:37 am

Now it's Google plus. Plus a start-up or two, that is.

Google has bought Fridge, a New York start-up that allows users to share with groups, for an undisclosed amount.

Google, which has $39 billion plus in cash, has made some shrewd purchases in the social networking space, including Angstro. But Fridge is one of two start-ups Google has bought since it launched its social networking service in a so-called limited test (i.e. marketing gimmick) that has already drawn more than 10 million users.

Google+ is supposed to counter the growing influence of Facebook. Its standout feature so far is called Circles, which lets users put contacts in groups they create such as dorm buddies or dancing partners.

Fridge offers a group communication tool that includes sharing photos and events.  Last week it told users it would shut down the service and they should download their data, triggering rumors that the company had been sold.

"The Fridge team shares our vision of bringing the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web, and we're excited that they'll be joining Google," a Google spokesman said in an e-mailed statement.

Google has also hired the founders of another start-up that L.A. Times readers will recall: The celebrity tracking service JustSpotted. JustSpotted has a similar shut-down notice on its site. The eagle-eyed folks at TechCrunch say the founders are headed for Google+, too. And Google confirmed that. Word is that Google+ is hoping celebrities will tempt more users to join Google+.


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-- Jessica Guynn

Photo credit: Virginia Mayo / Associated Press