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GOOG Up Strong
Markets are fighting back as Europe blows up and factory orders miss. Shares of GOOG are up strong. Investors continue look for Android momentum and monetization of smartphones and tablets; direction for Motorola; the resurgence of Google TV; continued growth and monetization of YouTube; expansion of social network Google+; and progress in other initiatives (location-based services, mapping, Google Wallet, Google Music, Google fibre, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.8x Enterprise Value / EBIT.Android’s Lead Reduced (comScore via TechCrunch)
comScore released its latest quarterly figures on the state of the mobile market in the U.S. based on active users, and while the exact numbers are different, the basic picture is the same as the one that Strategy Analytics painted earlier in the week around smartphone sales: Apple’s iOS continues to see the strongest gains and Android has remained in the lead but with its lead reduced somewhat. There are now 234 million U.S. residents using mobile devices, with smartphone usage up 4% to 110 million, giving the country a smartphone penetration of 47%.
Google’s fibre “Proof Of Concept” Is Anything But (Launch)
Everyone wants fibre. The evil folks at cable companies and telecoms are sabotaging fibre in order to maintain their legacy businesses: be they content in the case of Time Warner or phone calls and text messaging if it’s AT&T. As the Internet gets faster, you spend more time online. This is one of the core tenets of Google’s success. Instead of adding features to Gmail, YouTube and Google search, they historically focused on making things faster. Why? Because speed drives usage. Google fibre is not a test, it’s a takeover plan.
Google+ Big Brand Adoption Growing (Search Engine Watch)
Three out of four of the Top 100 brands are now on Google+. In the past two months, Visa, Hermes, and Wells Fargo have all joined the Google+ network with their own fan pages. Growth is slowing, but that’s to be expected, given the astronomical adoption rate among big brands when Google+ was first introduced. Of those with Google+ pages, 30% have these pages display in search results for their brand name, according to the BrightEdge Social Share study for the month of July. That’s 6x higher than in February. BrightEdge surmises, “This could be due to the rising importance of social content in search results along with the growing adoption of Google+ by brands and users.”
Google Snaps Up Social Media Marketing Firm Wildfire (The New York Times)
Google has agreed to acquire Wildfire, a social media marketing firm, for an undisclosed sum. Founded four years ago, Wildfire helps brands manage their social campaigns across sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It has roughly 16,000 customers, including Spotify, Virgin, Amazon and Unilever. Facebook was reportedly the leading suitor for Wildfire Interactive, but Google won out. That’s after Google attempted to buy Buddy Media, but lost out to Salesforce, which bought the company for about $700 million.
No More Acquisitions Relating To Google+ (TechCrunch)
This week in the tech news rumour mill: A source close to Google says that the company has put a stop to all acquisitions related to Google+, at least until the end of this year. Google is wary of both growing the Google+ team right now and providing the product with any additional resources until January. The Google+ project itself is not on hold but, if this rumour is indeed correct and Google is cutting back on expanding the team’s resources, this could be an indication that Google+ isn’t doing quite as well as the company’s glowing public comments would indicate.