Google+Fridge to bring nuance, richness to Circles

Ronny Kerr · July 21, 2011 · Short URL:

Latest Google acquisition made specifically to improve the Google+ sharing experience

Fridge, a startup that is shutting down next month, offered its users a way to create networks for personal and private sharing. That feature description is, in a nutshell, the exact thing that has so many people excited about Google+ Circles, which allow for fine-tuned sharing.

But, as anyone might have expected, Google is far from done tweaking the way in which circles work. And they need help to do it.

Fridge announced Thursday that it has been acquired by Google. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The company said in a statement:

It has been an amazing ride developing Fridge, but most importantly we are very thankful to our enthusiastic community of users. We strongly believe in the group social experience and couldn’t think of a better place to realize our vision of bringing the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web as part of the Google+ Project.

Fridge aimed to be the most flexible service it could be when it came to groups. People could be added to groups on the fly, groups could be accessed from Web or mobile, and members could post anything to the groups. If a group was created for a one-off thing, like an event, it could be closed once the event ended.

On Google+, creating circles for different networks is a slow, involved process that only power users and nerds will really want to get into. It’s very likely that, for Google+ to go mainstream, the company will have to make it easier for the casual user to organize their collection of circles.

Once the Fridge team folds into Google, that’s part of what they’ll be working on: making “real-life sharing” feel natural on the month-old social network.

A Y Combinator graduate from 2010, Fridge has amassed 40,000 monthly unique visitors, who have created more than 20,000 groups.

Current Fridge users were told on Tuesday that they would only have until later that evening to download and save all their user information and uploads, like photos and other media. There must have been an outcry (rightly so) about the extremely brief grace period, so Fridge is now giving users until Saturday August 20, 2011 at 6pm ET to unload all their data.

Watch the video below for a quick promotional introduction to Fridge. (And be sure to make it to the 0:33 mark for the mildly ironic “not Google” plug.)

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