Google's acquisition of SocialDeck hit the rags yesterday, marking the Internet giant's third purchase this month, and further suggesting that a primary-colored social solution is in the pipeline.
Once upon a time, SocialDeck was a social gaming company that developed games for mobile devices such as the iPhone. Today, all that lives on their old site is a note that in part reads:
Big news! We're super excited to announce that someone has found our social games as fun as you have -- in this case, that "someone" is Google. SocialDeck has been acquired and we've joined the Google team.
Why is this significant? Because it turns out this little purchase is looking a lot more like a move toward multi-platform support than just a talent acquisition. "...SocialDeck has significant cross-platform experience," said Chris morrison of Inside Social Games. "A non-game product it offers, called Spark, provides social integration across Blackberry, the iPhone and Facebook, while Shake & Spell also works on all three of those platforms."
Google's investments in the social and gaming arena started to pick up in July when the Internet giant shelled out US$ 150 million for Zynga, the company behind popular games like Farmville and Mafia Wars. In August, another US$ 182 million went to Slide, which, according to Slide CEO Max Levchin, would serve "to make Google services socially aware." Shortly after that Google purchased yet another social networking solution called Jambool, which is known for its payment product called Social Gold.
Add all these pieces together and Google has the makings for a social gaming experience similar to that of Facebook, complete with multi-platform support and virtual currency (check out the downside to that scenario here).
The question now is whether or not Facebook should brace itself. Google has attempted to make headway in the social space several times now, but the death of Wave and the lightweight success of Buzz (compared to Twitter) have lent the impression that people don't want to associate their social lives with Google. Will a turn towards gaming change that? Let us know what you think.