Going, Going, Google+!
This week the company that gave us the mobile phone, Motorola Mobility, was bought by Google. There is little doubt Google is doing everything in its power to increase the reach and effectiveness of Google+, its new social media platform.
The purchase sent good vibrations across the Internet straight through to Wall Street as everyone tried to guess what the purchase would mean for consumers. Everyone assumes the move will mean more access to mobile apps for the company that already dominates online search.
In The Meantime
Google+ continues to grow and expand its reach. The number of users has now surpassed 50 million (by most estimates) and continues to climb. In a sure sign of the growing popularity of Google+ more and more social media professionals are using the site, carving out a niche that will give them a leg up on the competition when Google finally allows business pages.
Setting The Stage
Google+ has taken some fire for not allowing anonymity on its site, but this has done little to nothing when it comes to slowing its growth. The fact that anyone with a Gmail account is automatically enrolled in the new service has helped the company pull in users. But it doesn’t hurt that the social media site has continued to attract new users, with invitations being passed around at a frightening speed.
The system of Circles has led to some confusion, but once users figure out that Google+ is NOT Facebook, they relax a little and learn the ropes.
Google+ is just weeks old, so it’s hard to know exactly how much it will grow or how quickly that growth will come.
Chances are, however, its growth will continue.
The $12.5 billion Motorola Mobility acquisition is a canny one, with the price nearly invaluable for Google. Why? Consider Motorola’s massive patent rights. This could prove priceless to Google, which has faced patent disputes from rivals ever since it entered the mobile OS business.
Like a homemaker keeping to a tight budget, Google is generally careful with how much it spends. Just last month at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, chairman Eric Schmidt said Google sticks to a formula when buying: the value of the team added to how long it would take for Google to create the product.
Schmidt also said the company has been deliberately keeping acquisitions below the amount that would necessitate pre-merger notification to the FTC and DOJ and the accompanying 30-day waiting period. But Google seems to be willing to up the ante a bit lately, first entering into talks to acquire Hulu and now with the Motorola Mobility deal.
Questions about both will undoubtedly come up September 21 when Schmidt testifies before Congress, regarding the FTC’s antitrust investigation into Google. The probe will likely cover not just search but the company’s Android business, as well, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google has been alarming the competition enough that it’s faced antitrust accusations from even Microsoft, which spent years defending itself in the United States and Europe on the same charge.
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