Google+: Fridge Acquired by Google to Build Groups, Scoops Up JustSpotted Team

In an effort to beef up its Google+ social networking project group, Google has acquired "Fridge," a group social networking site, co-founder Austin Chang tells AllThingsD.With this acquisition, "Fridge will be shutting down but the core tenets will stay on in Google+," Chang said today. He said two people from the four-member Fridge team will […]

In an effort to beef up its Google+ social networking project group, Google has acquired "Fridge," a group social networking site, co-founder Austin Chang tells AllThingsD.

With this acquisition, "Fridge will be shutting down but the core tenets will stay on in Google+," Chang said today. He said two people from the four-member Fridge team will be moving to Mountain View, Calif. to join the Google+ team.

It's an interesting move for Google+, whose signature feature is its Circles, which are managed by each user rather than as collaborative groups. Google's goal for the four-person Fridge team is to work on groups, internally known as "shared circles," for Google+. Fridge provided "simple groups for personal and private sharing of media, events, and conversation. Anyone can easily create a group, invite friends, and have one place for specific conversations and shared photos, videos, events and more," according to Fridge's website.

"Right now, Google+ is asymmetric," co-founder Austin Chang told Business Insider. "We're going to help them create shared spaces."

According to BI, Fridge has 40,000 monthly uniques, and more than 20,000 groups have been created since the site launched last August.

Groups for Google+ have actually been a part of the plan for a while, said a person familiar with Google's product development. Internally at least, groups for Google+ have been known as "shared circles."

In another move to strengthen Google+, Google has hired the creators of Scoopler and JustSpotted. Scoopler, the maker of social media celebrity stalking service JustSpotted.

Scoopler's team began as a realtime search engine in 2008 before ditching that last year to create JustSpotted, a site that reported on the whereabouts of any celebrity, based on realtime data.

[Via: AllThingsD]