Google Purchases Snapseed to Bolster Google+

The last time I wrote anything significant about Google was back in August. Sure, the company had much to pay attention to with the Samsung versus Apple court case, but they weren’t making headlines beyond their usual operations. They’ve had a few updates to their blog, there has been some news about self-driving cars, and a few other smaller stories. Today, however, they’ve got the press reporting on a recent purchase they made which shows the continued importance of social media for these big tech companies.

Buying Nik Software, well more like buying Snapseed

According to The Inquirer, Google has purchased the San Diego and German based “photography software firm Nik Software, which is responsible for the iOS app and Instagram rival Snapseed.” If you’re wondering how much an acquisition like this cost Google, you’ll have to wait and hope to find out. Currently, the price is undisclosed.

Snapseed, like Instagram, is a popular photo-editing and sharing program that lets you do a lot to enhance your photos and share them easily. Five months ago Facebook, awash in cash, purchased Instagram for $1 billion dollars. Yes. One billion. Millions of people use these programs to share photos on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and other social and online platforms.

Google Playing Catch up, or does it have its own Plan?

From my point of view, Google has three main competitors: Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. The purchase of Nik Software takes on two of them, Apple and Facebook. Snapseed was originally an iOS app, so Google has taken control of that and kept Apple from having any control over it. In fact, the Snapseed app was awarded 2011 iPad App of the Year.

Plus, according to Parmy Olson at Forbes, the Google+ “network now [has] more than 400 million signups, with 100 million of them monthly active users.” To keep Google+ growing, Google needs to offer at the very least the same capabilities that Facebook offers. The Snapseed purchase is Google doing just that.

Beating Facebook has always been Google+’s endgame goal, and it’s starting to attract the sort of numbers that make you believe they can do it. However, Google+ users still are not as active on the site as they could be. Also, Google doesn’t have to rely on Google+ to make its money; they have much more back up to support their social media platform. But Facebook, on the other hand, has decent revenue but is disappointing Wall Street day after day. Now Google can finally offer and improve upon social media photo sharing, which is a primary use for social media. This could possibly lead to Google+ stealing users from Facebook, or at least adding more active users.

One Message Business can Learn

Facebook’s $1 billion dollar purchase of Instagram and Google’s purchase today of Nik Software for Snapseed may seem to have nothing to do with business online. They are photo editing and sharing programs, after all. But the fact that Google and Facebook are putting lots of money down for these apps shows that they understand the value of social media. Facebook doesn’t have a choice, but Google could just as well give up Google+ and continue making lots of money. But they don’t.

Social media is here to stay. The big tech companies wouldn’t put the big bucks into it unless it was worth doing. We’re consistently moving more and more of our gadgets, our communications, our lives, and our businesses online. If you’re thinking of moving your small business online or currently have your business online, make sure social media is included in your strategy. You can build an entirely new network of customers without ever having to leave your desk. And now you can put up some fancy photos, on Facebook and on Google+.

Do you use social media with your business? Are you doing enough with social media?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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