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Google acquires link management startup Kifi to bolster Spaces


In a post on Medium, it was announced that Kifi is joining Google’s Spaces team. For those unfamiliar, Kifi is a small startup that focused on building extensions that collected and analyzed links shared on social networking services like Twitter.

In the blog post, the Kifi team noted that the its service and data will not become part of Google. Instead, the Kifi service will shut down at some point during the next three weeks, with users have the option to export their data. This is very much an acqui-hire Google’s part, focusing more on the talent of the Kifi team than the actual service.

The mission at Kifi has always been to connect people with knowledge. We created a service that seamlessly enables organizing, sharing, discussing, and finding the content you and your team values, which has resulted in more flexible and intuitive collaboration across the internet. We also spent significant time creating a service that overlays context on your browsing and sharing experiences to increase usefulness and understanding.

It’s unclear how many members of the Kifi team will join Google, but those that do will join the company’s Spaces team. Spaces, of course, is the Google’s group messaging app that launched earlier this year but has not seen major success. The Kifi team says that they will be working with Google to “improve group sharing, conversation and content finding.”

It’s a small but interesting acquisition on Google’s part. The company’s messaging and collaboration efforts have long been considered to be scattered in terms of execution and focus, but with this acquisition Google is showing that it is still very much interested in growing and improving Spaces. It’ll be interested to see how the service improves in the future, but in the meantime you can read the Kifi team’s blog post here.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller


Chance currently writes for both 9to5Google and 9to5Mac, in addition to 9to5Toys.