Google buys Katango to boost Google+ Circles feature

The Katango software uses algorithms to automate the segmentation of social network friend lists into smaller groups

Google has acquired startup Katango to improve and refine the Circles friend-grouping functionality in its new social networking site Google+.

Katango's software automatically sorts users' Facebook friends and iPhone contacts into groups, using an algorithm that analyzes a variety of data and online interactions.

Google wants to use the technology to improve Circles, which lets Google+ members segment their friends into different groups, so that they can share certain things with a set of family members and others with work colleagues, for example.

Katango, which launched its iPhone application in July and its Web application in August, was founded with the goal of automating this often tedious process of creating, editing and maintaining friend lists in social networks.

"In the earliest days of Google+, I alluded to the fact that we had big plans for Circles. Are you ready for some magic in your Circles? These folks are magicians!," wrote Google Vice President of Product Bradley Horowitz on his Google+ profile, confirming the acquisition.

It's not clear what will happen to the Katango applications, which ironically don't work with Google+. Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

For now, the iPhone version of Katango seems to have been removed from the Apple App Store and the company's home page redirects to a brief announcement about the Google acquisition.

Still, Facebook has its own native feature for automated friend grouping, which it launched in mid-September, in response to the long-standing complaint that the tool to do this manually was cumbersome and seldom used.

The issue of slicing friend lists on social networks has become increasingly relevant as people accumulate hundreds and thousands of contacts, creating the need to be more granular when choosing what thoughts, links, videos and photos to share with whom.

Juan Carlos Perez covers search, social media, online advertising, e-commerce, web application development, enterprise cloud collaboration suites and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesInternet-based applications and servicesGooglesocial networkingsocial mediainternetKatangoMergers and acquisitions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?