Google has acquired social search site Aardvark for an estimated $50 million, according to the latest reports.
"We have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aardvark, but we don't have any additional details to share right now," a Google representative said in a statement.
Aardvark, a sort of social question-and-answer service, has built its offerings entirely on the premise that people have really good knowledge and they want to share it with each other. One of the examples provided on the site: "What's a great biking path around Golden Gate Park?" "My favorite is a secret trail that takes you to the beach..."
The San Francisco-based startup, which had 90,361 users (55.9% have actually answered or asked a question) in October 2009, has raised $6 million in venture capital to date. It's also interesting to note that the company was run by a few ex-Google employees.
The news comes right on the heels of Google's unveiling of Google Buzz, the company's latest concentrated effort to make a move into social media and networking. Google Buzz is reminiscent of FriendFeed, providing a social stream of content like status updates, photos, and videos directly integrated into a user's Gmail inbox.
Because of the highly social nature of both Google Buzz and Aardvark, many are already speculating that Google may somehow incorporate the acquired company's service directly into Buzz. Maybe when a user asks a question, it will automatically appear in the streams of those who have opted to be asked questions about that particular topic.
Needless to say, Google is in social networking for the long haul.