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Google Acquires Facebook Marketing Startup Toro

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Toro, a startup that helps developers promote their apps on Facebook, just announced that it’s been acquired by Google.

The company was originally known as Red Hot Labs, and it’s led by Amitt Mahajan and Joel Poloney. They previously co-founded MyMiniLife, which played a key role in the creation of FarmVille (and was acquired by Zynga).

Mahajan and Poloney told me last fall that the company’s aim was to make launching and optimizing a Facebook ad campaign as easy as possible for mobile app developers by automatically creating and testing “hundreds of variants” for each campaign.

In its announcement, Toro writes that joining Google will give team members access to more resources and distribution, allowing them to “continue our mission of making the lives of app developers easier.”

If you think this might shift Toro’s focus away from Facebook, well, looks like you’re right. The company says it will continue to optimize campaigns and provide reports for existing customers, but it won’t be creating new campaigns: “We recommend working with an alternative Facebook PMD for new campaigns going forward.”

The announcement does not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Toro had raised $1.5 million in funding from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, General Catalyst, Keith Rabois, Chris Dixon, Bill Tai and Guitar Hero co-creators Charles Huang and Kai Huang.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the news and said Toro will be joining the mobile ads team.