Google may be the juggernaut in the search advertising space, but Facebook poses a significant threat to it, with its new form of social advertising. While Google targets ads based on search queries by users, Facebook uses their social preferences, likes, shares, and other such data to target ads, which is arguably much more effective.
Today, Google acquired Wildfire, a social media marketing and advertising startup, which makes it easy for brands and companies to advertise on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and more.
The deal size is approximately $250 million, plus earnouts, according to AllThingsD. Wildfire has raised $14 million to date, and serves more than 16,000 customers including 30 of the top 50 global brands.
Google will likely integrate Wildfire’s social marketing/advertising platform with its search and display ad platform, enabling customers to manage their entire online advertising campaign from a single platform.
Google now offers ads across all categories — search, display, video, mobile, offline ads and social.
Google’ official press release said:
“In a complex and changing landscape, businesses want to manage and measure these efforts in an integrated way. We’ve been working towards this end for some time. For example, Google Analytics helps businesses measure the contribution of hundreds of social sites; our Admeld service has helped to serve ads in Facebook developers’ social apps; and our DoubleClick platform enables clients to run and measure ads across social websites. On Google+, brands use services like Vitrue, Buddy Media and others to manage their pages, with many more to come.
With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services. We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.”