Google Vs Facebook?
After I wrote Does
Google & Verizon Framework Agreement Save Net Neutrality? I searched on Google for the
'Eric Schmidt Social gaming' and got a very interesting result! We've said for
weeks on RadioDojo that Google has a Social Gaming strategy in play. Why
wouldn't they? Social gaming is what is driving the increased usage on
Facebook. Smart phones are enjoying brisk growth and Google's
Android flavor is at the head of the class.
Is Facebook Under Attack?...
Consider that Facebook are bragging they have
Google's Social Strategy Product Documents. Well, if they do I think
they are scared silly! Google announced release of their
Places API recently and my quick read of it's docs led me to believe that a 'checkin'
like functionality might be an easy addition ( love Google APIs).
A pretty good indication of that would be the
rumored Facebook office lockdown. Using the "borrowed" Places name for a 'checkin' privacy invading app is another
indication the Social Giant is defending it's Social Kindom.
Facebook's 'hatOtherPlaces' app is actually kind of lame since it is only
an iPhone or HTML5 supported platform. Google is creating "Microsoft like"
control over phones with its' Android platform.
Google's Android is the
fastest growing platform out there adding 200,00 new phones a day. Those who
are talking about Facebook's 500,000 users are clueless. Facebook's 'theOtherPlaces' is only in the
US, second it has limited audience since it is an iPhone app that supports HTML
5. IMO a lot of chatter over what is really just a 1 trick pony pulling an iPhone cart.
Social Gaming is at a Tipping Point
Social Gaming is at a tipping point and everyone wants in! Mashable's post,
interesting times in the social gaming industry,
was a heads up as to the attention the Social Gaming space is getting from
acquisitive companies. Late last year
EA acquired Playfish
; two weeks ago
Disney acquired Playdom
and recently Google
acquired Slide and
In the space of 10 months two of the largest social game publishers have become
part of larger companies. Google and Venture Partners continue to collect
"components" for a Social Gaming Platform. Social gaming, as a category, is the
dominant force behind Facebook and Google trading places as the top
"destination" for people’s entertainment and Social Gaming growth is
possibly a threat to all forms of online activity.
Estimates of Softbank’s investment in Zynga, the largest game developer and
promoter, are at around $4 Billion. Although many companies might covet them
they are more likely to go to Wall Str. because a "pure play" Social Gaming company
would be easy to take public during the current frenzy of acquisitions and
mergers. The excerpt below from the July 10, 2010 GamesBeat post
Google quietly invests more than $100M in Zynga and prepares Google Games launch
Dean Takahashi outlines the kind of Hybrid Gaming platform and destination
The investment is on top of other deals that have brought Zynga almost $500
million in capital in the past year. The deal reportedly closed a month ago and
is part of a strategic partnership still being negotiated. Google itself
made the investment, not Google Ventures, and Zynga could be part of
Google Games, a new platform launching later this year.
Google Games will be part of a larger social network that Google is launching
to compete with Facebook. It will bring in users through all Google’s different
services. Hence, Google Games could become a very
serious contender in the social game space in a short period of time, our source
Google's Recent Social Gaming Platform Investments
invested around $100-150 million into Zynga ( details of exact amounts are
sketchy) this year as it prepares for a
wide-reaching gaming initiative. Schmidt did not confirm the unannounced deal,
but said, "you can expect a partnership with Zynga [in the future]."
These investments are being made through Google; Google Ventures and Eric
Schmidt's Tomorrow Ventures.
- Google chief executive Eric Schmidt invested an
undisclosed amount to launch Social Network Company -InternInc.com.
- TechCrunch reported in June of 2010 the Social Gaming Network raised $2 million
in an initial investment by Google's CEO
Eric Schmidt’s investment firm Tomorrow Ventures and Xing founder Lars Hinrichs.
The Social Gaming Network built the games EXO-Planet Elite and Skies of
Glory for the high quality
multiplayer iPhone/iPod/iPad devices. SGN is soon to release its titles on Android devices.
Jambool a virtual currency app.
- Google Ventures the VC arm of the search giant, has
made an investment in popular iPhone/iPad game developer
Google is investing almost a good potion of their profits back into acquiring
these small Social and Gaming applications not just for their technology. Google
covets the human engineering talent these companies have in building out Social
and gaming platforms.
Destination or Mobile Platform Hybrid?
In April of 2010, Google hired longtime game industry veteran
Mark DeLoura as developer advocate for games at the company. "In this time of great disruption in the game industry, there are a huge
number of opportunities for developers," he
said at the time. "It can be difficult for traditional games companies to
navigate the new possibilities provided by mobile platforms, social networks,
and alternative business models." Google ventures and other VC firms owned
by principle Eric Schmidt have been buying up iPhone developers to get more
exposure on that platform and port the iPhone games to Android,.
Google.me a Destination or a DOJ Decoy In the Mobile Market Hunt?
Late last week the Gypsy covered the announcement that
Google Realtime Search Goes Vertical which included Twitter, Facebook/Friendfeed.
This could also be used as search on Google.me. IMO, we're gonna' see the
Google.me destination try to tie all your Google services, Twitter stream and
Facebook acct. into a place to manage all these Social streams kinda' like
Tweetdeck does now on your PC. Part of that will be the ability to also play
your Zynga Facebook games and others on Google.me
Why is Google being careful about what they buy directly with their Mobile
purchases? AdMob commands about half the Mobile ad market and Android is
the leading OS so when you add that to their domination of search
Conclusions About the Google.me Facebook Killer
AAlthough it hasn't been confirmed that the Google.me destination is
more than a discussion at the GooglePlex, however, IMO, Google.me will be a
Social Gaming platform able to run on all devices running mainly over their and
Verizon's network... look for it to hookup with Rodgers in Canada.