Google was in the news all week, because of its Q1 2012 earnings, which were revealed on April 12. It reported a 24% increase in gross quarterly revenue over last year, and continues to see increasing amounts of revenue from mobile search advertising. While there was another drop in the cost-per-click rates this quarter, there was a much greater increase in the aggregate paid clicks, which led to a jump in revenue.
Another major development in the earnings call was a proposal to create a new structure which will enable the founders to maintain majority voting control of Google while splitting the stock, enabling them to counter dilution due to stock based employee compensation and acquisitions.
Google also refreshed the design of Google+, which now sports a cleaner interface with a revamped navigation bar, redesigned profile pages, better discovery elements and a dedicated page for Google Hangouts. The new design also offers greater visibility to widgets and apps used on the platform. Google also rolled out additional monetization options for publishers on YouTube Live, its streaming video platform, which should help it expand its video advertising business.
Facebook, which has been in the news this month primarily for its patent lawsuit adventures, resumed its shopping spree, and acquired yet another startup. However, this acquisition is Facebook’s biggest to date — Facebook acquired Instagram, an extremely popular mobile photo sharing platform for $1 billion in cash and equity. It was a 15 month old startup which had attracted more than 30 million users on iOS in less than 15 months, and more than 5 million users on Android in a week following the launch of its app on the platform.
Facebook already leads the online photo sharing space, and with this acquisition, it aims to bolster its position in the rapidly growing social mobile photo sharing space. In one fell swoop, it may have converted a potential threat to its dominance in social networking, into one of its greatest allies.