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Google Acquires Social App Developer Slide

Slide offers Facebook and MySpace applications that allows users to build virtual communities centered on entertainment.
Google has acquired Slide, a maker of entertainment applications for online social networks that lets users create and distribute virtual goods.

Google announced the acquisition Friday, but did not release financial details. The company was also mum on product plans.

The announcement indicates that Google may be interested in some type of social network centered on games. Slide offers applications on Facebook and MySpace that people can use to build virtual communities centered on entertainment. Slide applications lets people send virtual gifts to friends, care for online pets and create their own virtual goods.

David Glazer, engineering director at Google, pointed out on the company's blog that Google has already built some social elements in products like Gmail, Docs, Blogger, Picasa and YouTube.

"As the Slide team joins Google, we'll be investing even more to make Google services socially aware and expand these capabilities for our users across the Web," Glazer said.

U.S. Internet users spend more of their online computing time visiting social networking sites and blogs than checking email, a recent study by Nielsen found. Games are the second most popular online sector.

Among the most popular online games makers are Electronic Arts, Blizzard Entertainment and Zynga. The latter's community-based games Mafia Wars, Farmville and Cafe World dominate Facebook, attracting 235 million users a month in May.

Outside of the U.S., Japan is a big market for social games. Zynga on Thursday acquired Unoh, a Japanese developer of social games, for an undisclosed amount. Unoh has developed a number of hits, such as Machitsuku, Band Yarouo, and Kaizoku Chronicle.