Google has acquired the assets of Angstro and added co-founder Rohit Khare to its yet-to-be-launched Google Me social team, led by Vic Gundotra and Max Levchin. Angstro built tools for users to receive integrated and disambiguated feeds of news and up-to-date contact information from various social sites. The startup fits into Google’s efforts to improve the social web by making it interoperable, an ongoing project of execs like David Glazer as well as recent hires like Joseph Smarr and Chris Messina.
Khare wrote in a blog post announcing the move, “While our work here may be done, the struggle for open, interoperable social networks is still only just beginning, and I’m looking forward to working on that in my new role at Google.” (Hat tip: Jessica Guynn)
While we don’t know terms of the deal, it did include the assets of Angstro, which included tools such as KNX.to, a universal contacts list that combined a user’s social graph and phone book. A source familiar with the deal said that Khare wanted to bring his products to a larger audience than its tens of thousands of existing users. (Angstro had shut down its beta service earlier this month as it explored a sale.) Google had also previously hired Angstro engineer Ben Sittler about a year ago. Angstro co-founder Salim Ismail is not joining Google.
Just as with hiring Levchin through the acquisition of Slide, which had built applications on Facebook’s and similar platforms, Khare had built extensively on Facebook and Twitter. “Now Google has people inside the company who understand what Facebook and Twitter are offering,” said the source.
Khare was previously director of CommerceNet Labs and a founder of KnowNow.
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