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GOOG Up With Markets
Stocks are staging a come back in early trading as gold looks to rebound after its biggest 3-day drop since 1983. Shares of GOOG are trading in the black as well. Catalysts include continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China in search and pushing forward in mobile; any signs of life for Google TV (including Motorola); the roll-out of Google Music and social network Google+; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, Chromebooks, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.2x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels.Zynga Brings Its Most Popular Game To Google+ (TechCrunch)
Google’s investment in Zynga is paying off. Back in July, the two companies announced that the social gaming giant would be bringing Zynga Poker and other game titles to Google. In a blow to Facebook, CityVille, the company’s second most popular game behind Farmville, is now on its way to Google+ as well. Google has been building features for a game platform for a year or longer, and analysts believe that Google Plus games represent an enormous opportunity for the company and game developers alike. Google+ currently has 18 games.
Google+ Hits 50 Million Users, Adding 2 Million Users Per Day (Google+)
Many people still think Facebook will wipe the floor with Google+. But Paul Allen, Founder of Ancestry.com, estimates that Google+ has already hit the 50 million user mark due to the big burst in users that came since Google opened up its social network to the general public recently. That’s not all that many. Particularly when you compare it against the white pages that is Facebook. Do you think Google+ will become a viable competitor or is it a sideshow like many in Silicon Valley seem to think?
Things At Google+ Looking Up As Company Opens To The Public (Experian Hitwise)
Last week, Google opened Google+ to the public and traffic rocketed. According to Hitwise, Google+ is now number 8 in its rankings of top social networking and forums Web sites with 15 million U.S. visitors last week, putting it just behind MySpace. Last week, Google+ was number 54. By way of comparison, number-one Facebook got 1.75 billion visits from U.S. users during the week.
Google Drive Could Mean Big Things For Integration (TIME Techland)
Although a Google-based online storage service has been rumoured and internally tested for years, Google may finally have a version of the so-called “Google Drive” that’s ready for public use. Here’s why it’s important:
- Android integration
- Chrome OS integration
- Google-based data repository
Smartphones On The Rise, Android Kicking Butt (Nielsen)
According to Nielsen, of those consumers who purchased a new smartphone during the three-month period ending in August, 58% purchased an Android device while 28% purchased either the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 3GS. In terms of smartphone platform market share as of the month of August, 43% of smartphone owners had an Android device, 28% had an iOS smartphone and 18% owned a BlackBerry. And the smartphone pie is getting bigger. While 43% of all mobile subscribers in the U.S. had a smartphone as of August, 58% of those who bought a new mobile phone in the last 3 months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.
Google’s Bid For Hulu More Than Twice Next Closest Bid But Littered With Conditions
Google’s bid for Hulu came in something in the range of $4 billion. But that came with special conditions: more content for a longer period of time, and perhaps other concessions as well. Dish was the highest considered bidder, coming in around $1.9 billion. What happens next is anybody’s guess, but Dish or Google will probably end up with the prize. Unless Hulu’s owners change their minds and reopen the bidding with a more lenient set of conditions. Or decide not to sell at all.
Netflix’s Stumble Might Be Google’s Chance To Pick The Company Up At A Discount
(San Francisco Chronicle)
Netflix’s biggest slump in seven years is making the mail-order and streaming movie service a 57% cheaper takeover target for companies from Amazon to Google. Netflix’s decline may give those two tech giants a reason to consider buying the online entertainment leader rather than build their own services. Both were said to have made first-round offers for Netflix rival Hulu. Hastings may have split the business in order to sell the streaming service to Amazon. Interesting.
Happy 13th Birthday Google (ZDNet)
Google celebrates its 13th birthday today. Now officially a teenager, expect a strop halfway through the party, and a storming off moment as “everything is so unfair”, mostly because uninvited party guest Facebook is locked in bitter rivalry with the search giant. And the company has had its fair share of controversies and difficulties. But amid the doom and gloom, today is a celebratory day for Google. Even with its recently opened-up Google+ social network, the company continues to enjoy growth by numbers, as the fastest growing social network the world has ever seen.
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