Google Buying Another Instant Messaging/Social Networking App?

from the buy-buy-buy dept

Just a week ago, there was talk about how Google needed an instant messaging offering to compete with Yahoo and Microsoft (ignoring, of course, that they already have a mostly ignored IM client that they got when they bought Picasa). Apparently, they took the claim seriously. They’re rumored to be announcing the purchase of Meetroduction, a combined IM/social networking offering that tries to combine instant messaging with the ability to find someone who’s physically near you. There are a number of small companies who have been working on something similar (and they’re probably not happy right now). This isn’t a separate instant messaging product, but one that plugs into existing IM offerings which might make a lot of sense for Google, since it wouldn’t need to build up a new userbase. Of course, the various IM providers haven’t always been happy when other companies mess with their systems in any way, and it’s easy to see them trying to block this service from working once it’s owned by Google. Still, this seems like the sort of thing that could easily be merged with Google’s Dodgeball offering to create something that goes beyond mobile devices to instant messaging as well.

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Comments on “Google Buying Another Instant Messaging/Social Networking App?”

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jeremiah (user link) says:

Google your life

I know my opinion isn’t the most qualified when it comes to divining the intent of Google, but based on my usage of thier products and the forums i’m participating in, I would guess that Google is trying to become the ultimate in one-stop information-management.

I use the phrase “information manangement” because I think it accomodates the breadth of services Google is going to offer via their portal.

Personally, I use Google almost exclusively for internet searches, and have recently migrated all of my email/contact management to GMail (the spam filters are the best I’ve seen yet.)

Google will be offering a calendar integrated with GMail later this year. One of the best features will be workgroup calendaring (similar to what Outlook/Notes already does in closed systems). With calendars available via Gmail, I will finally abandon client-side email and workflow software (Outlook, Thunderbird).

As a second example, a film production company i’m involved with will be using Google services to manage its next production. Cast and crew will be assigned GMail addresses and will have a central production calendar to reference for schedules, etc. Key staff will be able to edit the calendar as well. Google Maps will provide location information for cast/crew so everyone gets where they need to be on-time (knock on wood.)

With GMail’s storage capacity, production crew will be able to share larger media files (scene renders, daily’s, etc) with other cast and crew with more ease than standard POP email (only have to upload once.)

We’re really looking forward to an integrated chat client, too. Currently we’re all spread over multiple chat platforms: Yahoo, AIM, MSN, etc, which can create issues especially for voice-chat (AKA, VOIP).

My crystal ball says Google’s next great purchase will (should!) be ACT! or Goldmine – one of those contact-mgmt products.

(insert 10 min phone call)

I got off track here, but that’s pretty much my thoughts on the subject. NEXT?

Kevin Mesiab (user link) says:

Re: Google your life

Google is ad revenue driven, and the way to make the most money is to get your ads in front of more users more often.
So where is the real value? Real-estate on those things that get the most face time. The question is what gets the most attention when we’re computing.
Rather unscientifically, I would guess the list looks something like this:
Web Browser
>>(Search Engine)
Email Client
IM/Chat Client

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