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Thing Labs has acquired two “passion projects” from former Apple (s AAPL) and Google (s GOOG) developers to expand its social web aggregator, Brizzly. Birdfeed, a premium Twitter app for the iPhone made by Buzz Andersen (formerly of Apple, now at Square) will become the free Brizzly for iPhone app (existing Birdfeed customers, who paid up to $4.99 for it, can continue to use the app but Brizzly won’t provide support or updates for it). Brizzly for iPhone is live in the App Store today. Thing Labs CEO Jason Shellen said some of its coolest features are around geolocation and Twitter support.
And Wikirank, a visualization for Wikipedia data from Small Batch (the makers of Typekit, formerly from Google and Adaptive Path), will serve an as-yet undecided purpose for exposing data in interesting ways. One of Brizzly’s goals is to help people explain the real-time social world around them — e.g. what do these Twitter trending topics mean? — which with Wikirank will help (on that note, Brizzly is also releasing publicly accessible guides to buzzing topics today).
Shellen said the acquisitions mark a turning point for his company, which is now committed to focusing on Brizzly as its core product (previously it had been posed as one of potentially many) — similar to what happened to Obvious Corp. and Twitter. He didn’t disclose the price of either buy. Shellen said Brizzly, which opened to the public in November, has had “hundreds of thousands” of signups.