Should Google buy Pinterest? It’s a question that matters to the world’s widely-used search engine. Especially when the other giant that is Facebook has acquired a visual platform like Instagram along with its users. Facebook knew Instagram could be a threat to them, so instead of competing with Instagram, they bought it. Zuckerberg understands branding, if Instagram will be closely associated with Facebook then it’s a win-win situation for both brands.
So while Facebook got its first acquisition, Google still thinks it can do social right. They bring in Digg founder Kevin Rose and his Milk team to improve Google+, this week they released a cloud product called Google Drive. It’s obvious that the big G is all about brand proliferation and it does such by creating a product or a service that some company is doing already. And it works for them in some cases, but the similar scenario can’t be seen on how they do social. Pundits ridiculed the YouTube acquisition back in 2006, now it’s one acquisition that Google makes a lot of money from. Google knew it can utilize YouTube in order to enhance its AdWords platform. Arguably, YouTube is one social platform that Google made right – acquire and not screw it up.
The Web is more social than ever as mobile Internet usage increases every year. It’s the next step in the social media evolution, mobile devices are the catalysts if a social platform intends to stay relevant to Internet users. Mobile has paved the way for visual engagement platforms to fare well. It’s one of the reasons why Facebook decided to purchase Instagram. Facebook is mediocre on mobile so it opts for an easy way to capture users through Instagram. A practical acquisition that makes a lot of sense.
In the visual platforms arena, only one is left for the taking that could be a game-changer and that’s Pinterest. YouTube made the smart decision to accept Google’s offer because it was experiencing legal threats and storage costs in its early development. Pinterest has found itself in a similar scenario. Google knows how to do mobile but sucks with social. Pinterest has established itself as a visual platform. Google has the Android platform and Motorola, all it needs is a product that has yet to conquer the mobile Web. Pinterest is a desktop superstar, could it conquer mobile, too?
Only the big G has the answers.