Google buys Bump, focuses on mobile file sharing

Google scoops up popular Bump and Flock apps

Google is buying the mobile startup Bump Technologies, makers of the popular app that enables users to transfer photos, videos and files just by bumping their phones together.

Neither company disclosed financial terms of the deal, although the All Things Digital site quoted a source as saying the sale was worth $30 million to $60 million.

David Lieb, CEO and co-founder of Bump, made the announcement in a blog post today. He also tweeted, "The next chapter begins today. Bump's been acquired by Google."

"The Bump team has demonstrated a strong ability to quickly build and develop products that users love, and we think theyll be a great fit at Google," said a Google spokesperson in an email to Computerworld.

With the Bump acquisition, Google also is getting Flock, a photo-sharing app that combines photos taken by users, their friends and family and puts them into a shared album.

"We strive to create experiences that feel like magic, enabled behind the scene with innovations in math, data processing, and algorithms," wrote Lieb. "So we couldn't be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world."

He said, for now, both Bump and Flock will continue to work as they have. "Stay tuned for future updates," he added.

The app, which has more than 100 million iPhone users, also enables an Android phone to "bump" with an iPhone.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said the acquisition is a good move for Google. "This is interesting. To date, mobile devices have become great at creating content but not so effective with sharing," he said. "What if Android users had the ability instantly to share photos, videos, etc. with people near them? Consider a football game where the NFL could send everyone with an Android phone a bunch of videos so they could all vote for play of the game."

Google, he added, is smart to move to make file sharing easier and more mobile for its users.

Kerravala also said that he expects Bump to no longer be available to iPhone users.

This article, Google buys Bump, focuses on mobile file sharing, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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