Why Google might want to buy WhatsApp?
Although the acquisition rumor circulating in the tech press Monday is shaky at best, it does serve to highlight a growing problem for social networks such as Google+ and Facebook — the rise of real-time multimedia messaging apps that compete with social networks for users’ valuable time.
The buzz stems from a rumor that Google may be working on a deal to buy the fast-growing messaging app WhatsApp for a cool $1 billion. WhatsApp is among an increasing number of mobile messaging apps that analysts say could threaten social networks such as Google+ and Facebook because they offer real-time messages across smartphone platforms without text messaging charges.
As usual, the companies themselves aren’t talking. Google spokeswoman Samantha Smith told The Washington Post on Monday that the company doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation. WhatsApp spokesman Neeraj Arora also declined to comment on the report.
Still, the speculation has attracted much attention, implying that there’s at least the perception that Google and Facebook have a hole in their networks that has to be plugged. Mobile has become a crucial focus for social networks, as Facebook acknowledged with last week’s announcement of its new Home suite of apps for Android smartphones.
Digital Trends says that a Google deal with a service like WhatsApp deal would be a “no-brainer,” pointing out that while the tech giant could build its own technology for a similar service, it doesn’t have anything near that kind of reach on mobile messaging. An acquisition would allow the company to pick an impressive bank of users in one fell swoop.
That was the approach that Facebook took with Instagram when it bought the photo-sharing service last year. While Facebook could — and, in fact, did— develop technology that offered the same kind of photo sharing and filtering that made Instagram popular, it would have taken the company some time to build up a competitive network.
WhatsApp, which has devoted users around the world, reported earlier this year that it had processed 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages on New Years’ Day alone. With Facebook now shifting to make mobile its first and best platform, Google should be feeling the pressure to offer its Google+ users a compelling and unique mobile experience. Acquiring a strong mobile messaging service could give it the edge.
source: Washington Post
Google bans porn on Google Glass
On Monday morning, the first porn app for Google Glass was announced. Unfortunately, the app violated the most recent additions to Google’s developer policies for the futuristic eyewear, which ban sexually explicit material.
The pornographic app for Glass was released by MiKandi, an adult app store that has a successful Android app store for adult apps. Using the application, Google Glass wearers could look at photos and watch videos filmed using Google Glass. The company wanted to expand from first-person point of view videos to one-on-one interactions between adults who both have Glass.
Now it seems that business plan will need to be altered.
Google added a new section to its developer policies for Google Glass late last week that prohibits apps from delivering sexually explicit content.
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“Our policies make it clear that Glass does not allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Any Glassware that violates this policy will be blocked from appearing on Glass,” a Google spokesperson said. The same section promises harsh penalties for any app featuring child pornography. Google also bans gratuitous violence, hate speech and gambling on Glass.
The connected Glass headset features a tiny screen above the right eye that can display Internet content. The device is still in beta mode and is not expected to go on sale to the general public until late this year or early 2014.
More than 10,000 people have visited the landing page for the porn app, and a dozen Glass owners have signed up with the app, MiKandi CEO Jesse Adams said in a blog post.
He said the company made sure it was following the Google Glass developer terms when it started creating the app two weeks ago, but those rules were changed by Google just before the app’s launch. MiKandi will comply with the new rules, and plans on rolling out a new app that somehow doesn’t include any of the forbidden content.
“Although the app is still live and people are using it, at this point we must make changes to the app in order to comply with the new policies. Expect to see changes to the application tomorrow,” Adams said in a blog post.
This is not the first time the adult company has gone up against Silicon Valley giants.
In 2011, Apple sent the company a cease and desist letter for using the phrase “app store” in its tagline. It has also had apps rejected from the iOS and Android app stores before.
Google Glass is a completely new product, and the public is still figuring out how and if it will be used. The company is working hard to avoid a sullied reputation for the wearable computer before it it is publicly released.