Oct 10 2006

GooTube

Published by at 5:06 pm under Digital

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Everyone and his blog seems to have something to say about the / acquisition. Given my demonstrable interest in social media, it’s little surprise that a steady stream of colleagues have been asking me my opinion throughout the day.

Well, since you ask, I’m slightly underwhelmed. And to be honest, I’m far more concerned about this week’s other big news – just how do you solve a problem like Korea?

I’ve always been a little puzzled by YouTube, and specifically by how it intended to make any money. We now know that the answer to that question was “sell the business to Google for $1.65 Billion” – and fair enough.

Buying YouTube is a pretty logical move for Google, and I imagine Microsoft are rather cross – MSN Soapbox must be pretty much dead in the water now that YouTube has the power of Google behind it.

Ah yes, the power of Google. Trouble is, everyone knows that Google is a commercial concern. Paid-for advertising, sponsored search results, and all kinds of controversy whenever they change the algorithms or catch someone manipulating the rankings. Contrast that with YouTube’s hitherto somewhat naïve (and loss-making) model of a few banner ads here and there.

Those in favour of today’s announcement would point to a new paradigm in online searching, where Google brings us results in text, picture and video format all at once. Social media meets mass-market search. But I wonder if YouTube might be losing its user-generated appeal, its ‘innocence’, if you like, along the way?

Apologies, by the way, for the unintentional eight-day blogging hiatus. Will try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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