July 31, 2012, 4:38 PM

Google grabs Wildfire Interactive

The social media marketing vendor says it serves 16,000 customers.

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Google Inc. has agreed to acquire Wildfire Interactive Inc., a vendor that helps retailers manage their social media marketing efforts.

The vendor, whose clients include Gilt Groupe Inc. and Spotify, says it has more than 16,000 customers that it works with to manage their pages, apps, tweets, videos, sponsorships, ads and promotions across a range of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

“With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services,” Jason Miller, a Google product management director, wrote in a blog post. “We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.”

The acquisition comes amid consolidation in the social media vendor space. In just the past few months Oracle Corp. has acquired social marketing vendors Collective Intellect and Vitrue, and Salesforce.com acquired Buddy Media, which sells social media marketing services.

However, unlike those other acquiring companies, Google has its own social network, Google+, that could benefit from the vendor’s insights about its rivals. Wildfire says it will continue to work with an array of social networks, despite being owned by Google. “Wildfire will operate as usual and there will be no changes to our service and support for our customers,” the company’s founders, Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard, wrote in a blog post. That means that marketers will be able to work with Google to buy both display ads as well as social ads on Facebook and Twitter.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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