Google acquires x, Yahoo acquires y, ...

Note: These are just my humble observations and opinions and are not really backed up by any kind of empirical analysis.

It’s strange. Two companies of the size of Yahoo and Google, and still two completely two different approaches on acquisitions. Remember when Yahoo bought Flickr in March 2005? Not that few people thought, the giant would squash the community photo site and imprint itself deeply into it. But what has happened so far? From what I can tell, all I see as a user is a different login system. Even less happened with the social bookmarking service which they acquired last December.

Google seems to take a different approach. In February Google acquired the site statistics tool Measure Map from Adaptive Path. Well, the title page is still online, but is Measure Map still around? At least registration is still not possible. I guess Google just bought it to have it out of the way for their own Google Analytics service. Or at least they perhaps added part of Measure Map to their own service. I don’t know.

One month later, Google got hold of the online word processor Writely. And yesterday they merged it completely with their office strategy, giving it the look and feel of Gmail and their spreadsheet tool. Too bad, I really liked the old design :-(

Honestly? I prefer Yahoo’s approach on this matter since they at least seem to try to keep the flair of the previous separate Web2.0 projects while still integrating them into their service infrastructure by offering a single login.

In general it seems to me, like Google is buying applications while Yahoo is more interested in communities (perhaps to gain a little bit market share compared to Google?). For a list of Google acqusitions check out this article on Wikipedia.

Now I wonder what Google will do with YouTube. I didn’t know before it was googlified so I’m somehow missing a references here. So far there isn’t even a note in the footer of YouTube, that it’s now basically owned by Google. If I remember correctly, Yahoo was faster on this with Flickr where the Yahoo logo was in there within just a few days. I personally somehow doubt, that Google will change anything obvious on YouTube even in mid-term. The community is simple too large and estranging them might not really be such a great idea.

Bets anyone? Will there be even a unified login within the next year with Google’s other services like Gmail? IMO this is more or less the maximum they might do.

Another problem, in my opinion, might be the recent deals with Sony BMG and Warner which might slowly but steadily transform YouTube into a more and more closed platform for the MPAA and the RIAA instead of normal users who simply want to show their stuff to the world.

On the other hand, what alternatives does the community have? Let’s face it: YouTube seems to be the only big video sharing site out there. Sure, there are sites like videoegg but at least for me the only real alternative would be something like ourmedia but they seem to be more on the “clean community” side of things. I mean more in the sense of controlled mixing not to provoke the whole WIPO club instead of the “easy at any price” way YouTube seems to handle things (note: I haven’t used any of these services as author and only rarely as consumer).

I’m at least very curious, what will now happen. Will YouTube become a completely integrated application? A playground for the big media companies out there? Or will it stay in the hand of the normal users who just want to enjoy seeing other people’s (and not companies) videos?

I’m also curious, if Google will stay with it’s acquisition style or if they will try to get some communities like YouTube in the future in a way Yahoo currently in my opinion seems to do it.

Well, at least no one can say, it’s boring to be on the net …

(This article was republished on

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