(Fierce Mobile) Google has acquired mobile gaming startup SocialDeck, the latest in a series of recent social media purchases as the digital services giant continues to assemble a platform to rival social networking kingpin Facebook. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2008 by COO Anish Acharya and CTO Jeson Patel, SocialDeck creates Facebook, iPhone and BlackBerry titles enabling simultaneous play across multiple devices and social networks–the firm’s platform technology also facilitates viral content discovery, distribution and monetization. SocialDeck confirmed the acquisition on its website, stating “We’ve joined the Google team.”
The SocialDeck deal represents Google’s second social media acquisition in the last seven days, following on the heels of an agreement to purchase Angströ, a startup dedicated to building applications that integrate with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. In recent months, Google also has invested in social gaming juggernaut Zynga and scooped up social media solutions providers Jambool, Slide and Aardvark. Google is widely expected to unveil its own social networking platform, reportedly dubbed Google Me and developed to combat the continued growth of Facebook–since news of the initiative first surfaced in late June, Google execs have issued a series of non-denials, further igniting industry speculation on what’s to come.
Google is no stranger to social networking. Google Buzz launched in February 2010–a mobile version of the service integrates Gmail with social networking features, allowing users to post status updates and comments directly from their smartphones. Google Buzz additionally leverages location to identify places in the immediate vicinity; users can select those sites to add as tags to their posts, or read what others have posted about a particular landmark. Prior to Buzz, Google entered location-based social networking with Latitude, a friend-finder solution introduced in early 2009. More than a million mobile subscribers signed up in the first week, and in May 2010, Google said Latitude now tops 3 million active users, adding that more than 8 million users have signed up since the service went live.