Google Inc bought social networking company Slide as the Internet search and advertising company bolsters its social networking capabilities to compete with Facebook.

Google paid $ 182 million for Slide, along with $ 46 million in employee retention bonuses, according to a person familiar with the deal. Google did not disclose financial terms.

Slide was founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin.

“As the Slide team joins Google, we'll be investing even more to make Google services socially aware and expand these capabilities for our users across the Web,” Google Engineering Director David Glazer wrote in a company blog on Friday. Google has struggled to find the right touch in creating the types of social networking services that have become increasingly popular online activities for consumers.

On Wednesday, Google announced it would pull the plug on Google Wave, a high-profile social networking product that launched last year. Media reports have said Google is developing a new social networking product dubbed Google ME in a bid to challenge Facebook, which has more than 500 million users worldwide.

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