Google has acquired social networking games company SocialDeck in the company's fifth acquisition this month.
Toronto and San Francisco based SocialDeck creates games which can be played across devices such as iPhones and BlackBerry and also on desktop computers via social networking sites like Facebook. The move follows recent acquisitions such as social networking virtual currency outfit Jambool.
The spate of social networking and social gaming acquisitions has fueled speculation that the Internet giant is planning to launch a Google branded social network to compete with the likes of Facebook. Google boss Eric Schmidt had subsequently said that the company doesn't see itself involved in game developer or launching "another Facebook."
"We were very impressed with the team's talent as well as the technically advanced platform engaging mobile experiences they've built," said a Google spokesman. "We're pleased to welcome them to Google, and we think they'll be great contributors in partnership with the Google Waterloo team as we continue to innovate in the mobile space."
Earlier this month the company unveiled the Chrome Web Store which provides a platform for games and productivity applications created by third party developers. The acquisitions have centered on aspects of technology within social networking such as social photo searching with Angstro and the social widgets with Slide.
If Google does not, in fact, plan its own social networking portal ala Facebook then it's virtually certain that the company is looking to provide tools to facilitate social networking sites operated by third parties in exchange for advertising real estate.