Wednesday, 22 May 2013

We should be building great things that don’t exist

Since Steve Jobs became seriously ill the tech community has been looking for a replacement for his mercurial presentation style. In Larry Page they have probably found him. Page is by no means a new kid on the block, but his key note at Google I/O last week prompted the same sort of fanboy enthusiasm that Jobs inspired at Apple.

That fanboy enthusiasm however, has to be based on some serious innovation and that is what Page was able to cover in his keynote last week. There were numerous announcements, but the standouts from a marketing perspective were the newly enriched Google Maps and Google Play music service that will have Spotify seriously worried and the newly updated and enriched Google+.

What came through, time after time, was that here was a company that don't just talk about big data but use it in a way no other company on earth is. That's why Larry Page's pronouncement that “we should be building great things that don’t exist" rang so true.

There is great cause to be nervous about the level of data that Google holds (especially personal), but there is no doubt that they are using that data in amazing ways. None more so than Google Maps, which has become richer and richer almost every quarter since its launch. The product is now marrying the mapping data, 3d capabilities of Google Earth and the smart functionality of its reviews and location services to provide an almost game-like real-world view of an enormous cross section of the world.

Whatever the concerns continue to be about the way Google operate, there is no doubt that they are creating and will continue to create great innovative product.

Friday, 10 May 2013

The rise and rise of YouTube

YouTube is an odd beast, just eight years old, Google owned and so much a part of the fabric of the web that sometimes it gets overlooked as a social network. Yet the site continues to be a phenomenon, hitting almost no speed bumps on its inexorable journey to the top. It is completely peerless and somehow seems to dodge the ire that is directed squarely at its parent company.
  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • YouTube is localised in 53 countries and across 61 languages
  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views, or around 140 views for every person on Earth
  • Find more stats about Youtube here
So with this enormous rise in usage it comes as no surprise that YouTube has announced a pilot channel subscription scheme, starting out with channels such as Sesame Street and National Geographic signing up to show full episodes.

The announcement has been inevitable since the rise of online streaming services such as HULU and Netflix. With Google's vast infrastructure and the channel embeds that come with a huge range of newly purchased televisions it signals an end to the divide between TV and the Internet. It means any content, on any device, anywhere.