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Google Inc. (GOOG), the world’s largest Web-search provider, is hiring Kevin Rose, the founder of news- aggregation service Digg Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The move follows Rose’s announcement yesterday that he is shutting down the main product made by Milk, his mobile- application company. His hiring by Google was previously reported by the AllThingsDigital technology blog.
Google is stepping up its effort on social networking as it vies for Internet advertising revenue with Facebook Inc. (FB) Last year, the company unveiled the Google+ service, which has similar functions as Facebook. With his background in consumer Web companies, Rose may bolster Google+, said Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst at San Mateo, California-based Altimeter Group.
“It’s important to have the company focused when the imminent threat of Facebook is at hand,” Owyang told Bloomberg’s Tech Deals blog. “The product is not fully baked. That’s why they need people who can understand the technologies.”
Rose’s Digg, founded in 2004, gained attention as a place for people to rate news stories. Milk’s Oink product, an app that lets people review items such as food or furniture, is being shut down less than six months after the product was started.
Jordan Newman, a spokesman for Mountain View, California- based Google, declined to comment.
Google shares rose less than 1 percent to $621.13 at the close in New York. The stock has fallen 3.8 percent this year.
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