When financial growth for Google slowed dramatically in 1Q 2009 it wasn’t THAT surprising – the whole economy is in the gutter. But this is GOOGLE we are talking about here, what in the world is going on? In a conference call on Thursday, CEO Eric Schmidt acknowledged the stumble with quotes like “No company is recession proof” saying that the economy is in “uncharted territory” and that “Google is absolutely feeling the impact.”
But there seems to be a big upside for Google (and us) that Schmidt discussed on the conference call:
The Android software introduced last year now accounts for about 8 percent of all mobile Web browsing to rank second behind Apple Inc.’s iPhone, Google executives said Thursday. Without providing specifics, Schmidt said Android’s usage will expand later this year as part of “quite significant” announcements by Google involving several new pieces of hardware.
Google is counting on Android to help the company dominate advertising on mobile devices as thoroughly as it does now on office and home computers connected to the Internet.
Quite significant? Does that mean lots of phones? Does it mean netbooks, Android hubs and GPS devices? Or does it mean even more? One of the hands Google could be holding is the purchase of microblogging phenomenon Twitter:
Recent reports also have surfaced that Google might use some of its $17.8 billion in cash to buy Twitter Inc., the startup behind an increasingly popular communications service that broadcasts short messages on the Web and mobile devices in bursts of 140 characters.
Although he didn’t discuss the buyout speculation, Schmidt made it clear he would be interested in selling ads for the San Francisco-based startup.
Twitter “could become a channel for product information, market information, real-time information for which you can hang advertising products,” Schmidt said.
Combine the sheer size and following/popularity of Twitter, a service that fits SEAMLESSLY into the mobile context, and combine the possibilities with the Google owned Android mobile operating system and what do you have? Pure win. Google could have a really, really good thing brewing here.
I can foresee one big problem: will Twitter lose the “cool” factor if Google buys it? Will they try to do too much with it and overcomplicate a beautifully simplistic service? To be honest, I think Twitter is still somewhat of a fad that could eventually wear off if it doesn’t reinvent iteself as something more. And better integration with mobile would be the way to do that.
I’ve blabbed on quite a bit when all we were told was “quite significant” Android happenings were coming. But lets be real… we were expecting and practically demanding that by the end of 2009 anyways, weren’t we?