Katango, creators of an iPhone app to generate a friends list using your Facebook contacts, has been acquired by Google. Debuting back in July, Katango was immediately hit with serious competition from Facebook, rolling out their Smart Lists feature and dramatically lessening the value of Katango’s auto-generating friends list.
Fortunately for Katango, Facebook isn’t the only shark in the social waters. Google caught a glimpse of Katango and appreciated the value of using a list maker to help sort a user’s Google+ contacts into Circles.
Facebook has had Lists for awhile now, allowing users to share content with an audience of their choosing, but it never really caught on until they launched Smart Lists at the beginning of September of this year. Google has plans to leverage Katango and build out a social sorting algorithm for Google+, helping users easily sort their contacts into Circles. Sorting will be based on the volume of user interactions, types of users, along with other factors.
Google’s latest acquisition has brought some fantastic talent to the Google family, as well. Yoav Scoham, who is Katango’s co-founder/chairman, is a computer science professor at Stanford, and fellow Katango co-founders Michael Munie and Thuc Vu are PhD grads from Stanford. The acquisition dollar amount has not been disclosed.
Robert Scoble caught up with Shoham last summer; check out the video below if you’d like to learn more about Katango and the idea and relevance behind the social sorting of a user’s connections.