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Google buys brace of start-ups to out-Facebook Facebook

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Google may want to insist that it is not interested in building a social network, but that didn't stop the company from buying a pair of start-ups yesterday that just so happened to be covered in social goo.

Financial terms of both acquisitions were kept secret.

It bought one-year-old Katango, which describes itself as an outfit that develops "social algorithms that improve people's online social interaction".

Katango said it was "excited to join the Google+ team and carry on fulfilling that mission."

It will apply that tech to the Circles feature in Google+, the social network platform "extension" of Google's online estate.

On the same day, Apture, which started life in 2007, confirmed that it too had been gulped by the Mountain View Chocolate Factory.

"We've always believed that by transforming flat web pages into interactive multimedia experiences, we could enable readers to see, hear and truly experience the ideas on the page," it said in a statement on its website.

After enhancing more than a billion pages with our products, we think now is the best time to expand our efforts with another team just down the road that shares our vision of making the web better. :)

That's right – we've been acquired by Google and will be joining the Chrome team to continue driving innovation and creating a better user experience on the web.

The modern web is an amazing platform, so stay tuned for even more enhancements to your Chrome browsing experience.

Katango and Apture might assert that they have just been added to the smartest list in all of interwebdom, but these acquisitions demonstrate well that Google is continuing to panic about Facebook that other social network. ®

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