Google Purchases Wildfire, A Facebook Marketing Software Provider

By Justin Lafferty 

Google may struggle to keep up with Facebook in the social media world, but the search engine is working to change that. Google has purchased Wildfire Interactive, which helps businesses master Facebook, the marketing software provider announced on its blog Tuesday.

AllThingsD has a little more information regarding the sale, which it reports at about $250 million:

The logic here is straightforward: Google will integrate Wildfire into its growing display advertising “stack,” which is anchored by DoubleClick and Google’s AdX exchange. The idea is to convince marketers that they can buy both conventional and display ads from Google, even if they want to buy them on competing platforms like Facebook.

This is one of Google’s least surprising buys, since the company already tried to get its hands on Buddy Media, a Wildfire competitor. But Buddy went to Marc Benioff and in June, so Wildfire was the next logical candidate.

It’s no secret that Google is doing whatever it can to compete in the social media arena. After the company failed to acquire Buddy Media, Google set its sights elsewhere. Wildfire works with businesses to formulate winning marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Earlier this year, Wildfire boosted its Facebook offerings by integrating into its software Adaptly’s social advertising and optimization technology.

Wildfire has skyrocketed in popularity in the past couple of years, after being founded in 2008.

Facebook declined to comment to AllThingsD.

Even though Wildfire is now a Google entity, it will still provide services based on Facebook and other social media platforms, according to the blog post:

We believe that over time, the combination of Wildfire and Google can lead to a better platform for managing all digital media marketing. For now, 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 Plus, 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.

Business Insider notes that at one time, it seemed as if Facebook was going to purchase Wildfire.

Readers: How much will this purchase of Wildfire help Google compete with the more established social media sites?