Google has bought a virtual currency software firm as part of its latest effort to build a Web 2.0 empire by scooping up social networking outfits. Jambool confirmed on Friday that it had joined “the Google family”. However, financial terms of the deal were kept quiet. The company started life as a social collaboration platform …
Loss of direction?
Is it me or has Google started to lose focus? It's gone from advancing and innovating to attempting to copy other people's "innovations". Badly. What happened?
They became huge, rich and with more money loosing products then money making products, with just a limited number of them (one in this case) making tons of money. Reminds me of a company in Redmond ...
Did Google ever innovate? Their innovation has always been behind the scenes, not in the services they provide. They created a web search algorithm that was better than that of Alta Vista and Yahoo, and a home page that had one input box and so was better than that of Alta Vista and Yahoo. Then they made a webmail app that was better than that of Hotmail. And bought a company that produced a maps webapp that was better than MapQuest et al. And bought a company that put videos on the net when their own attempt went nowhere. And bought a company that made a spreadsheet webapp that was not as good as DabbleDb. And bought a company that made a wordprocessing webapp that was just plain awful (and therefore familiar to people who used MS Word). And bought a company that made a phone operating system that was better than Symbian (but then were beaten to market by Apple). And then produced Wave which was an innovative combination of chat and a wordprocessing webapp , the main innovation being that it worked in a browser. And Buzz which was a microblogging app that was a knock-off of Twitter and screwed over Gmail users. And now they've bought a company that runs a virtual currency service...
You forgot Google Checkout which was supposed to rival PayPal but has such shocking customer service so no-one in their right mind would want to use it, but now they've bought a "virtual currency service" - to replace it...?
@AC: "Loss of direction"
I don't see it as a loss of direction at all, far from it. Lets play devils advocate. Why would Google want a company that states (its product called) ... "Social Gold provides a comprehensive virtual currency platform, that lets you host your entire economy on our infrastructure, get insightful analytics about your economy and monetize through in-game payments."
In other words, the basis for a Google based micropayment system. Then Google can watch everything people buy. They just have to use it like a micropayment system rather than just a virtual currency system. That sounds exactly like Big Brother I mean Google's attitude of endlessly finding ever more ways to spy on all of us.
Continuing the devils advocate thinking... How long before virtual currency and micropayment systems etc.. become the de facto standard for money transactions in the 21st century. Almost like an automated credit card style payment system but one which is integrated into the web etc.. ... and lets not forget, integrated into Google.
So then in the centre of this future version of the web, we have, sitting like a big fat spider, the ever growing Google, feeding from and clawing in ever more spying information about everyone.
Oh good, another unregulated bank with zero customer service. PayPal got there first though.