With the imminent launch of Google Me it's clear that the search giant is doubling down on its social media efforts. It began in February when Google paid $50 million to acquire the social answers site Aardvark. In the subsequent months the company has invested approximately $150 million in Zynga, and purchased social gaming companies Slide and Jambool for $182 million and $70 million respectively.
These investments make clear that gaming will be an integral part of Google's social strategy. This makes sense considering that Facebook users spend 40% of their time playing games. But what else has Google got up its sleeve? According to Google UX Researcher Paul Adams, Me will be a more accurate representation of our "real life social network."
One thing is certain, after the outright failure of Google Wave and lackluster response to Google Buzz, this is the company's last legitimate opportunity to go head to head with social networking king Facebook. For an idea of what Google may do, it's worth taking a look at what they won't. After all isn't failure the greatest teacher?
- February, 2003 - Acquires Blogger (Pyra Labs) - By buying Pyra Labs, Google positions itself at the forefront of Weblog technology. While Pyra founder Evan Willams would go on to be CEO of Twitter, the Blogger platform languished, and was surpassed by hip upstarts WordPress, Typepad and Tumblr. These days only three of the top 100 blogs run on Blogger.