Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Google continued to dominate social and online media in the second quarter. Activity in the social-enterprise space picked up as well. Key highlights from the quarter include:
- Facebook’s IPO. It was the biggest in tech history and the second-biggest U.S. offering overall. But partly because it didn’t pop, a lot of critics took a hard look at Facebook’s core businesses and challenges.
- Social-enterprise acquisitions. Microsoft bought Yammer, and Salesforce.- com bought Buddy Media. Though there was a lot of acquisition activity under the broad umbrella of social enterprise, most of it fueled two distinct market sectors.
- Google+ one year later. Google’s social initiatives have had mixed results, and the company played down social at its own developer conference instead of highlighting innovations in UI.
- Search innovation. Surprise! Microsoft set the standard for social search with a big Bing redesign. Yahoo showed a flashy, visual mobile app that mixed browser and search functions.
- Merger patterns. Facebook bought Instagram; it might have considered Pinterest. Microsoft and Salesforce.com are aiming for different objectives with their social-enterprise acquisitions.
This quarterly wrap-up discusses these milestones and provides a near-term outlook for trends, technologies and companies to watch in the next 18 to 24 months.