May 12, 2005 9:03 AM PDT

Google buys social-networking service

Google has acquired social-networking service Dodgeball, as it continues its expansion beyond search.

Dodgeball posted a notice on its site, saying it was acquired on Wednesday. The note did not reveal financial details but did say that Dodgeball's two co-founders are "Google superfans."

Google spokesman David Krane confirmed the buyout Thursday, but did not give further details.

Dodgeball's service helps members link up with friends and acquaintances using text messages sent to phones.

Through acquisitions and its own research and development, Google has expanded far beyond its beginnnings as a search company, offering e-mail applications, photo management and blogging tools, among other features. The expansion has led many to question how far the company expects its reach to extend.

Google has already begun dabbling in the social networking field, launching its Orkut service last year.

CNET News.com's Stefanie Olsen contributed to this report.

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Google expansion continues...
With these expansions, Google hopes to make its Web site an even more popular destination, helping to boost its advertising revenue  the company's main source of profits. Google also is muscling up to fend off competitive threats from Yahoo and Microsoft.

In June, 2004 Google has acquired a minority stake in Baidu.com, a Chinese-language search firm. In Oct. 2004 has bought digital map maker Keyhole Corp.

Another acquisitions include: Applied Semantics, Pyra Labs, Picasa, Inc., Zipdash Inc., Urchin, etc.

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