Adding to rumors of Google building a competitor to Facebook, the search company has reportedly purchased Slide, an application and games developer for social networks, for $182 million.
Founded in 2005, Slide employs some 125 workers across its headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Shanghai and Bandung, Indonesia. Its Facebook and MySpace games and apps, which include titles such as SuperPoke!
and Slide FunSpace
, attract roughly 27 million unique users each month.
The acquisition, which Google is expected to announced this Friday, supports recent speculation that the internet services giant is talking with social gaming companies
such as Disney's Playdom and Electronic Arts's PlayFish about creating a social network -- rumored to be titled "Google Me" -- as a Facebook rival.
Furthermore, reports emerged last month that Google invested between $100 million to $200 million
in Zynga, the studio behind FarmVille
and the most popular developer on Facebook, according to total monthly active users across its catalog. The partnership was said to be a cornerstone for a Google Games platform launching later this year.
In its report of the Slide acquisition
, TechCrunch added that Google has other undisclosed deals in the works for bolstering its social games and apps strategy.