TalkBin describes itself as a way for your business to deliver better customer experience by letting customers use their mobile phones to communicate to your business in real time.
Customers can send businesses feedback, suggestions, and questions through short messages, which allow the businesses to quickly respond ("immediately," according to TalkBin's site).
With Google placing more focus on both its mobile and local endeavors (not to mention a "social layer"), this pick-up would seem a perfect fit in the company's strategy.
On TalkBin's website, a message from the company says:
We are excited to announce that we've been acquired by Google!
When we started building TalkBin in 2010, we set out to find a better way for consumers to connect with their local businesses in a more personal way. While we're proud of what we've accomplished, we believe Google's awesome mobile and local teams combined with their consumer reach will help us make our bigger goals a reality.
We appreciate all the support and positive feedback we received from all of our partners and we're elated to join Google and get started!
TechCrunch obtained the following statement from Google:
“We’re thrilled to welcome the TalkBin team to Google. They’ve built a cool way for customers to engage with local businesses, and we think they’ll be a great fit for our mobile and local teams.”
It's unclear whether this is a product/talent acquisition or just talent, but from the wording Google uses in that statement, it sounds more like talent.
It's certainly not hard to imagine Google incorporating such a feature into its existing products via things like Place Pages and perhaps even profiles. And let's not forget the new Google Offers.