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Google Acquires Katango 'Magicians' To Improve Google+ Circles

google-katangoFinding it too much hassle to organize your friends and contacts into circles on Google+? Google may have a solution on the way, thanks to the company’s acquisition of Katango.

Katango launched this past summer with an iPhone app that automagically organizes Facebook friends through an algorithmic approach that looks at profile information, past interactions with friends and the interactions friends have with each other.

Google+ Product VP Bradley Horowitz just confirmed the acquisition in a post on Google+, saying

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!

Katango’s website also confirms the deal; it now redirects to a page on Amazon’s servers with this message:

Katango was founded a little over a year ago to develop social algorithms that improve people’s online social interaction. We’re excited to join the Google+ team and carry on fulfilling that mission. Google+ is seeing tremendous momentum, so it’s a perfect time to join and make Circles smarter for millions of people.

While Google heralded the Circles feature as a key element separating Google+ from Facebook and other social networks, some users and critics found Circles too laborious to use. Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, for example, likened using Google+ Circles to arranging seating charts for a wedding. “And take my word for it: After you do it for your wedding, you’ll never want to do it again,” he said.

If Katango’s technology can solve (or reduce) that friction — and some have been very bullish on its capabilities — then Google may have just made a very smart buy.


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