11 September, 2014

Google Acquires Social Polling Startup Polar to Improve Google+ Design

Google is buying the social polling startup Polar, the companies announced today

Google did not disclose the terms of the acquisition but said Polar founder Luke Wroblewski and his team would be brought on to work with the Google+ team.

Wroblewski and his team will be focusing on design at Google's social network, particularly mobile design.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Luke Wroblewski and the talented Polar team to Google," Dave Besbris, Google's VP of engineering for Google+ said in a statement. "They’ll be working with our designers and engineers to help us make G+ as beautiful and simple to use as possible, especially on mobile devices."

Previously, Wroblewski cofounded Bagcheck, which was acquired by Twitter in 2011 after doing a stint at Yahoo as chief design architect. He also wrote a book, Mobile First, focused on how design teams should transition design strategy from desktop to mobile.

It appears the Polar app, which allows users to create simple customized polls, will remain online through the end of the year. "We’re keeping our publisher tools available until the end of 2014," Polar said in a statement on their website. "We’ve also built a simple way to download and save an archive of your Polar polls and data — they’re yours after all."

Though neither company said definitively what would happen to the app, Google acquisitions tend to result in the original app being shuttered or effectively ignored (like email app Sparrow, which was acquired to work on Gmail— the app is still available but hasn't been updated in almost a year.)

Google+, Google's often-over looked social network that has long suffered from perception problems, is facing an uncertain future. Google made no mention of the service during the most recent Google I/O and Vic Gundotra, who headed up the platform since its launch, unexpectedly stepped down earlier this year.