RealTime IT News

Google Buys Social Networking Firm

Google continued to move beyond its search roots this week by acquiring social networking service Dodgeball.com.

The New York-based Dodgeball.com, the brainchild of two graduate students at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, is a service that helps members find and chat with each other using text messages sent to phones.

The announcement was posted on Dodgeball.com. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and representatives of both companies were not immediately available for comment.

In the posted note, creator Dennis Crowley said he and his partner, Alex Rainert, were "super Google fans" and decide to sell to Google because they like its approach to technology.

"As a two-person team, Alex and I have taken Dodgeball about as far as we can alone," Crowley wrote. "We talked to a lot of different angel investors and venture capitalists, but no one really 'got' what we were doing -- that is until we met Google."

The Dodgeball service allows users to check in at any location, whether a bar, club, restaurant or other local gathering spot. The text transmits the information as a message to the mobile phones of other members in the area. The idea is to allow users easier connections with friends and acquaintances.

Crowley said he and Rainert will remain with the company and begin work on developing new features for the service.

"We have a lot of ideas that we've wanted to work on for a long time, and we're excited that we will now have the time and resources to actually follow through with them," he said.

Google has now moved into numerous interactive fields, offering e-mail applications, photo management and blogging tools to its users.