Google is counting on another high-profile Internet entrepreneur to boost its social networking aspirations: The Internet search giant is hiring Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, according to technology blog All Things D.
Rose announced yesterday that his company Milk would shut down its only product, Oink, less than six months after it launched.
Rose did not respond to a request for comment. Google Ventures was an investor in Milk, which had raised $1.7 million in funding. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.
Technology blog TechCrunch reported that Google outbid Facebook for Rose and his team members from Milk. Google is locked in a fierce battle with Facebook for eyeballs and advertising dollars. Last year Google unveiled its Google+ social network.
Rose gained fame as the founder of Digg and made an appearance on the cover of BusinessWeek with the headline "How This Kid Made $60 Million in 18 Months." Google tried to buy Digg in 2008, but the deal fell apart. Rose went on to become a prolific angel investor -- backing Twitter, Zynga, Facebook, Path and others -- and to start Milk.
In joining Google, Rose follows in the footsteps of Max Levchin, who sold his Internet start-up Slide to Google and joined the Internet search giant in the run-up to the Google+ launch. Levchin left Google last year.
Google+ is little used, lags behind other social networks
Google+ continues battle with fading user interest, data say
Google engineer goofs, tells whole world that Google doesn't get it