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Google buys Wildfire (googleblog.blogspot.com)
102 points by jervisfm on July 31, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 46 comments

Here's the corresponding article from the Wildfire blog: http://blog.wildfireapp.com/2012/07/31/wildfire-is-joining-g... .

The timing on this is so funny to me, since a good friend of mine just moved out to San Francisco last week to join Wildfire. "Surprise! You actually joined Google!" :-) Congratulations to everyone!

And the shakeout of social media management startups continues. Here's a recap so far:

Vitrue (Oracle, $300 million)

Involver (Oracle, undisclosed)

Efficient Frontier (Adobe, $400 million)

Buddy Media (Salesforce, $689 million)

Wildfire (Google, $250 million)

Next up, HootSuite?

The exits of Buddy Media and Wildfire are related to Facebook introducing Timeline to Pages.

If you assume they were notified of the change in early 2012, and the change happened in March/April, and a deal of this size taking a few months to close, you can see how this deal (and the Buddy Media one) are likely directly related. The change also coincides with WF and BM both announcing ad-related pivots the day before Facebook announced their Timeline change (source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wildfire-announces-new-capa... and http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buddy-media-announces-brigh...).

The Pages change destroyed many companies. The week that the change was forced, I took a screen shot of the top app losers on socialbakers. Check it out yourself: http://i.imgur.com/C3zSQ.png . BandPage, for example, lost 90% of its traffic in 60 days. Wildfire apps saw their user base gutted as well. I remember looking up the stats for a few of their apps a month later and saw their app install base had fallen huge double digit percentages. It's hard to see exactly how companies like WF were impacted, but I think the Timeline change gutted their unstoppable growth and forced them to exit while things were still looking bright.

And this, in my opinion, helps explain why they took a relatively small exit of $250M (given the larger $689M of BM).

That's my guess at the situation.

( Edit: The reason I have this info handy is because I looked into this in depth a few months back: http://www.michikono.com/2012/03/22/facebook-is-okay-with-hu... )

I think your Timeline analysis is spot-on but I don't think it is the cause for the difference in acquisition prices.

BM seems more focused on big brand/Fortune 500 customers with a big focus on analytics. From what I read they were making a lot of money too.

Wildfire seemed like more of a SMB tool.

You forgot Context Optional (acquired by Adobe earlier this year)

The deal was a little more complicated. I believe Efficient Frontier bought Context Optional for $50 million, and then Adobe acquired eFrontier for $400 million. I went ahead and added it.

50 million.

In the near future, I see YC companies PageLever & Crowdbooster on that list.


These companies have real business models and charged serious money to provide value to big corporate companies.

How is that a bubble? Who is getting fooled out of their money?

I've been freelancing full-time with Wildfire since they were around 40 people and had just closed their Series A. They've got a fantastic product (I still like it after working with it day in and day out), and a seriously rocking team. They deserve all the good stuff that this will bring.

Is there a tldr of what they actually do? I couldn't make heads or tails of it from their website.

Social media marketing for medium-sized to enterprise businesses. Ex. Software subscription that a company like Pepsi would use to manage the social properties/promotions for all their beverages.

They have utilities to run marketing campaigns (sweepstakes, like campaigns, ads etc) on primarily Facebook but also other social media.

A blog post about an acquisition and no link to the website of the actual product (http://www.wildfireapp.com/)?

Fun fact: Mark Zuckerberg's sister, Arielle Zuckerberg, works for Wildfire and so now she works for Google. Talk about sibling rivalry.

From her Facebook:

I'm in Israel on Birthright and I just found out that I'm now a Google employee. Not gonna lie... This feels pretty awkward, but I also feel very proud to be a part of the Wildfire team on this exciting day for Alain and Victoria.

She has 10,500 subscribers. I'm sort of fascinated by that- I wonder how much she is worth to Wildfire just by virtue of who she is?

A huge amount. Same reason his sister spun off a career as a Facebook consultant.

Why does the blogpost look like this? http://i.imgur.com/1KHCt.png

Broken on the - wait for it - Google Nexus 7.

What a sad joke..

I loved WildFire in the past, deployed a couple of servers (even before they changed the name to wildfire), but I refuse to read a crappy, broken, useless blog post. So no details for me - and a reminder to ignore links to a blogging platform that shows a couple of tools (screwdriver etc?) before it gives you misformatted content.

It seems there are some random elements that are set to fixed position, when they really shouldn't be. I imagine it will be fixed very shortly -- it would be odd if nobody at Google has noticed it yet.

It's also all kind of broken for me in a 1024x768 window. Scrolling the article scrolls it over top of the title but under the bar below the title. meh.

Good for wildfire!

because your window is tiny.

I had the same thing happen to me too.

Mine does not look like that, even when I make the window tiny. FF 16, Win7.

The window is small to highlight the effect.

Considering the bulk of their offering is marketing tools for facebook, I'm really curious what this means exactly.

Unless this is a very expensive aqui-hire, it does complicate the current narrative that Facebook marketing is without value.

Not necessarily. They're not Facebook-only, and it's entirely possible Google may have Wildfire focus more on upcoming Google+ API stuff in the future.

I suppose it means that a bunch of the tools that made Facebook attractive to marketers are now owned by a primary competitor to facebook.

Go NZ! (we try to claim what we can from down here :D) Great work though, they built a nice product (and employed lots of kiwis from what I know).

I had no idea this was a New Zealand founded company until I saw this as news on the NZ Herald website.

Great to see a Kiwi tech startup seeing this kind of success!

I visited over there in April - it was a very cool workplace full of interesting and motivated people. Though they weren't that happy when I was playing around with their app and found a bug related to daylight savings on a Friday afternoon, haha. I'm really happy for them.

A little cheap - $250 MIL vs. about $700 MIL that salesforce paid for buddy media...

Funny, I just got an email from one of their recruiters today.

They hit me up last spring and I briefly considered moving out there to join them. Surprise, surprise!

Random: page has a display bug on the retina iPad in portrait mode, content width is too big

Blogspot is broken in a special way for each platform. It's sweet, really.

Did somebody already buy North Social?

Didn't see that one coming

When you comment, would you please add something constructive to the discussion that others may find useful? Your quick statement doesn't give any reasoning as to why it caught you off guard, what you expected instead, how you believe this may affect future acquisitions, etc. If you have that knowledge, please share (or hold these little surprises to yourself). Thank you!

Everytime I go to Google Blog I start playing with the header balls and forget to read the article

What I find frightening is that this company was acquired for $250 mil and I've never remember hearing about it. I really don't see those valuations to be justified.

They were making tons of money and a majority of their funding was untouched. Solid.

It's not a consumer product. Anyone in the industry knows the name Wildfire.

The world does not revolve around you :-(

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