Last weekend’s technological news was dominated by the rumour that Google had started it’s social media application Circles. As it was a rumor it has also been denied by Google it self. Now the question is does Google even need a new social media?
Youtube, Buzz, Orkut
In the past few years Google has been trying to find that one idea they can beat Facebook with. In October 2006 Google bought, while youtube was losing money, for 1.65 billion dollars. Besides Youtube Google also has social media Orkut, launched January 2004, and Buzz. Both of these applications are not growing as Google would have hoped. Yes Orkut is big in Brzil and has over 120 million members but Facebook is growing in Brazil as well. And let us face it, everybody will prefer Facebook over Orkut. On the other hand youtube is succesfull. People our posting and watching more on youtube everyday. Youtube had 700 billion video views in 2010. Still Facebook has a much better understandig en implementation of what social media should do, same counts for Twitter. But does Google really need to be a social media competitor to Facebook and Twitter?
Google also has its change in search engine: Social Search. If you are logged on to your Google account and you type in a search query you will see more results from social media like Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. And now with Google’s Product Ads coming to the world the search engine only misses the possibility to update your own status. Now to answer the question if Google needs a social media, lets take a moment to think about what Google would want to do with the social media. Why does it want it?
I came up with the following list:
Everything Google does has to do with advertisements in one way or the other. Google’s main cash in flow is and will always be money from advertisements. Google’s social media would mean that Google customers would have another advertising channel to use. This would mean more google ads and more cash in flow for Google. Also social media would mean a even better understanding of people and better search results based on who you know and what your interests are. But does Google need this, Facebook and Twitter allready show up in search queries and Information can be stored.
I do not think they need their own social media channel but i am sure they will do anything they can to create one, eventuelly competing with Facebook. Why? Because that’s what Google does. Especially since Facebook has no interest in accepting a take-over offer from Google.
Till next time.