In a move that could shore up the dire shortage of opinions on the Internet, Google has acquired Polar, an online poll company. The deal was announced on Polar’s website and through Google’s social network, Google Plus.
To the frustration of analysts and journalists, Google announces lots of small acquisitions on Google Plus, instead of, say, a corporate website or news wire service. But the announcement there of Thursday’s deal actually makes sense, since Polar – whose polls ask such questions as “Win World Series? S.F. Giants/L.A. Dodgers” – will be part of Google Plus.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In Silicon Valley parlance, the deal is an “acquihire,” meaning Google was most interested in employing Luke Wroblewski, Polar’s founder, and his team of engineers and designers.
Wroblewski is an evangelist of mobile design. Three years ago, he published a book called “Mobile First,” which “makes the case for why websites and applications should increasingly be designed for mobile first” and outlines ways for Web design teams to move from designing apps for desktops and laptops to designing them for mobile phones.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Luke Wroblewski and the talented Polar team to Google! They’ll be joining our team and helping us make G+ even more awesome,” Dave Besbris, Google’s vice president of engineering for Google Plus, said on his own Google Plus page.
Google Plus has struggled to gain traction with users, at least in comparison to Facebook. But the network still has immense value to Google because it helps the company learn more about its users, which, in turn, helps the Internet giant to sell more ads and push more of its services.
Still, despite frequent jokes about Google Plus being an online ghost town, loyal users say parts of it are thriving.
Polar has done polls for several media companies including HBO, TechCrunch and USA Today. Now that it has been acquired by Google, the company will stop taking new customers and spend the next few months winding down its business to focus on new Google Plus projects.