Google Acquires In-Page Search Firm Apture
November 10, 2011
By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor
Google (News - Alert) continued its buying spree on Thursday by acquiring Apture, a San Francisco-based startup that builds in-page search technologies for major publishers.
The basis behind Apture's product is to simplify the time consuming act of searching for more information on a specific topic when reading an article online. With Apture technology embedded into a Web page, users can highlight any word or phrase within an article and a window will pop up with relevant information, videos, maps, and more. In essence, Apture automatically builds hundreds of hyperlinks into an article without any extra work needing to be done.
The product is designed to benefit both the reader and the publisher by keeping users from escaping to other websites to learn more. The company has already inked partnership agreements with a number of major publishers including Hearst, the New York Times and the Financial Times (News - Alert).
"With Apture’s in-page search technology, gone are the days of toggling between browser tabs to get additional information," company officials note. "Apture Highlights keeps information in one place, with as many content choices as you like."
Sounds like a pretty good idea. And like many good ideas before it, Apture is getting swallowed up by Google, which told All Things Digital (News - Alert) that it is interested in both Apture's product and its team and partnerships.
Although it's unclear what Google has in mind for the new technology, Apture founder Tristan Harris noted on the company website that he and his team will be joining the Google Chrome family. The relationship makes all the sense in the world as both companies have the same chief goal: drive as many searches as possible.
Google has yet to confirm whether Apture technology will be integrated into Chrome in its current form, but the chances are probably pretty good, especially considering users can already install the Apture extension into their browser of choice (until Google pulls the plug on Safari and Firefox, of course).
The Apture team will make the move from San Francisco to Google's headquarters in Mountain View. The details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Business Insider speculates that the deal is probably in the sub-$10 million range.
Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves