Angstro, an experimental social-graph and news-crunching startup, has been acquired by Google to help lead the company's charge against Facebook in social networking. The acquisition was first reported on by Jessica Guynn of the LA Times.
Here's how Angstro describes itself on its website: "Inspired by the angstrom unit of measure (0.1 nanometre) named after Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Angstrom, Angstro represents the ability to hone in on highly focused, relevant news across professional networks. Where search engines such as Google and other news aggregator services have immense infrastructures that return a huge array of random results, Angstro analyses a wide breadth of information from multiple data sources to deliver very few, yet very intelligent results."
The company was co-founded by Salim Ismail, former lead of Yahoo's in-house incubator Brickhouse and now Executive Director of the new Singularity University.
Guynn writes in the LA Times:
With his vision for an "open, interoperable social networks," Khare's a good fit for Google, which has championed that approach over Facebook's "walled garden."
Khare joined Google because he was sold by vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra's pledge that Google is serious about social, a person familiar with the situation said.
Khare wrote an interesting guest post on TechCrunch in December titled Privacy Theater: Why Social Networks Only Pretend To Protect You.
What does it mean to see someone like Khare join people like Joseph Smarr, Bradley Horowitz , Chris Messina, Brad Fitzpatrick and most recently Slide's Max Levchin? It means that Google's entry into social networking is going to be big, ambitious and probably engage heavily with the data-portability paradigm that has positioned itself as the strategic antithesis of Facebook.
Identity and user data community leader Kaliya Hamlin says the addition of Khare to the Google team bodes well. Hamlin says she was a user and admirer of Angstro's services. "He did a lot with limited resources and he understands social," Hamlin told us. "It gives me hope that Google will be able to build an effective set of social tools."