Google Growls in Facebook Territory

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) tried to take a stab at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) when it launched Google+. With only 150 million active users in June, Google’s take on social networking hasn’t really worked out as well as the company had hoped. Facebook, by comparison, has almost one billion users. With Instagram joining the Facebook team in September, the company moved to the top of the mobile photography race. Google’s answer to this came today with its acquisition of Snapseed developer Nik Software.

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Snapseed is a photo-editing app that won the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) 2011 iPad App Of The Year award. The app had 9 million users in its first year, an achievement that is even more impressive given its $4.99 price tag. While Facebook has to struggle with monetizing the free-to-download Instagram, Google seems to have acquired something that people are already willing to pay for. What’s ironic is that there isn’t even an Android version yet.

If Snapseed can bring top of the line photo editing to Google+, that may be a reason for people tired of Facebook to start converting, though with over 100 million Instagram users, that’s a tall order. Google has seen increased pressure from Facebook recently with the introduction of its advertisement exchange program, and the company’s intention to move into search. Although Google+ is a long way from competing with Facebook, this could be a step towards a real battle between the social networks.

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