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Google to buy Slide for $182 million - report

Acquisition to be part of larger drive into social games and networking

Google has agreed to purchase social networking and app company Slide for a price of $182 million (£115 million), according to a new report by TechCrunch.

The move is thought to be part of a larger strategy to become a player in the social gaming and app space with Google Games – a social gaming space which Google is reportedly launching later this year.

This theory is supported by the company's $100 million (£63 million)investment in Farmville creators Zynga, as well as the launch of the Chrome app store, which allows games like PopCap's Plants Vs. Zombies to be played in Google's Chrome browser.

Google has made other game and social network investments, such as the acquisition of Israeli iPhone developers Lab Pixies, best known for its iPhone title Flood it!

Slide was founded in 2005 by Max Levchin, the man who started PayPal and sold it to Ebay for $1.5 billion (£944 million). The company produces social networking apps for sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. It is unknown whether Levchin will be staying with Slide or Google in any capacity.

Slide's biggest products include the app Superpoke, which can be embedded on Facebook, MySpace and Hi5, as well as the Slideshow application, which saw Slide controversially break MySpace's terms of service by asking users to hand over their login details to allow Slide to embed the app themselves. A cease and desist order was never issued, however, and Slideshow went on to evolve into various other widgets such as Fun Pix and Top Friends.

Currently, the Slide's website claims that "Slide's vision is to build communities that fuel the creation and distribution of virtual goods - a market that is forecasted to hit at least $1.6 billion in the U.S. this year."

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Dan Pearson avatar

Dan Pearson