Google Seeks “Flexibility” Through Trendalyzer

    March 16, 2007

For a while, they just came one after another – it seemed like Google was acquiring other companies at the rate of at least one per day.  Now the pace has slowed, but a few hours ago, the search engine company announced another acquisition.  This time, Google has taken on not a company, but a piece of software known as “Trendalyzer.”

Marissa Mayer herself (Google’s “VP Search Products & User Experience,” in case you didn’t know) wrote the blog entry announcing the event and explaining the software.

“Trendalyzer generates moving graphics and other novel effects in the display of facts, figures, and statistics in presentations,” she stated.  “In its nimble hands, Trendalyzer views development data – such as regional income distribution or trends in global health – as literally a world of opportunity . . . .  Trendalyzer will improve any function or application in which data might be better visualized.”

That’s all fine and well, but it does seem unusual that Google chose to buy Trendalyzer from its maker, Gapminder, rather than establish one of those ever-popular “strategic partnerships” or some such thing.  And Philipp Lenssen notes that "[t]his Gapminder site already existed on Google’s servers for almost a year now.”  Mayer sends a number of compliments Gapminder’s way, however, so there don’t appear to be any problems between the two companies.

It’ll be interesting to see how Google uses its newest toy; there is only a mention of “[b]uilding flexibility into search, email, and other Google products” in Mayer’s note.  Still, you should “stay tuned,” she adds, because “we’ll tell you more as soon as we can.”