Google is the new owner of social marketing software developer Wildfire, a company that allows brands to market and campaign ads on popular websites such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube and LinkedIn. Wildfire was formed four years back and is today 400 employees strong. Currently, the company was offering services to 16,000 customers. It has been reported that Google has closed the deal in around $250 million.
Following the acquisition, Google will be able to offer advanced software and other advertisement-related services to companies who wish to indulge into contests, sweepstakes, branded games and more on Google+. But what will turn out as an awkward position for Google is that Wildfire will still function as a marketing tool for other platforms such as Facebook. This means that when Google will start earning profits will now depend on the success of its rivals.
Not only Wildfire, but Google was also interested in buying Buddy Media but lost the deal to Salesforce. Virtue and Involver, leaders in the social marketing industry, have also been bought by Oracle. Therefore, Wildfire was the last top end option left for Google, which it grabbed instantly.
While Google has bought Wildfire, it hasn’t entered the social ad space directly, yet. Reason being that Wildfire offers ad buying only through partnership with start up Adaptly.
Furthermore, Wildfire has also clarified that at present no changes will be made in the services that it offers. Services include ad buying via Adaptly, feed publishing, page management, social app and contest development, analytics and social monitoring.
“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. To this end, Wildfire will operate as usual, and there will be no changes to our service and support for our customers.”
This has put Google in a peculiar situation, as it will have profits only if its rival social networks such as Facebook and Twitter will gain popularity. This is especially being hyped a lot in the market because Google+ is not that popular among people as Facebook and Twitter.
There are speculations in the market that Facebook may deny access to Wildfire API. But the experts are of the view that Facebook cannot do that as it would bring their developer ecosystem to a halt. Therefore, Facebook has not many options but to see Google making money out of its popularity.
As of now Wildfire is going to handle marketing to complement with Google’s DoubleClick AdX/Admeld paid marketing service, where it buys ads on search and other websites. The purchase shows that Google knows it well that ads can’t do it all.