By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated March 16, 2012.
It's official. The innovator behind one of the most popular social-networking sites on the Internet has joined Google. Digg founder Kevin Rose, along with several of his Milk co-workers, are now Google-ites.
"It's with excitement that I can confirm the rumors that Kevin Rose, Daniel Burka (and other Milk folks) have joined Google!" said Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product for Google+, in a Friday post on the search-engine giant's social-networking site.
"I've had a chance to get to know Kevin and Daniel a bit over the years, and have been truly impressed with the quality, depth and thoughtfulness of their work. They're going to fit in really well here, and I'm excited to welcome them to Google!"
Digg Founder Enthusiastic
Although Horowitz didn't offer any details about what Rose and his team will do in the Google+ fold, the Digg founder seems enthusiastic about jumping in with both feet.
"It's been a privilege to use Google products over the years (I still remember begging for a Gmail invite) and I can't wait to be a part of the amazing team that is shaping the future of the Web," he said in a Google+ post. Burka joined the party in his post, which reads, "Woohooo! The word is out. I can't wait to join the Google team. Here. We. Go!"
Rose left Digg and rolled out Milk last April. Milk builds apps like Oink, which was downloaded about 150,000 times in just a month, that aimed to "rate everything." But Rose is shutting down the site to focus on new projects. Now, the social-media world has a stronger clue about what at least one of those new projects is.
Can Rose Make a Difference?
"Google gains a bunch of engineers -- this was an 'acquhire' -- and Kevin Rose's social media expertise. It's not entirely clear what they'll be working on but it looks like Google+," said Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence.
"Rose's record is very mixed as an entrepreneur and it's unclear why Google would buy the company for the money that was rumored. They're not going to use Milk or any of the technology that was developed there."
It's clear that Google+ is a priority for the search-engine giant. In Google's last quarterly earnings call, Google CEO Larry Page said he is excited about the growth of Android, Gmail, and Google+, which now has 90 million users globally -- well more than double what he announced three months ago.
"By building a meaningful relationship with our users through Google+ we will create amazing experiences across our services," Page said, noting he is very excited about what Google+ can do in 2012. Page sees tremendous opportunities to help users and grow Google. Rose and his Milk team may be part of that growth.