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Bump App Bought by Google, Impact for Trend of Contact Mobile Device Sharing?

by Joe Murphy Librarian on September 16th, 2013

Bump has been acquired by Google. Are there implications for libraries or wider fields of interest? How about for the concept of contact sharing possibly expanding or disappearing under Google?

Bump is a mobile app used to share files by tapping, or ‘Bumping’ smartphones together (causing endless jokes at conferences). With Bump, users could transfer files (photos, contact info, and other mobile friendly file types) between their phones or even with a computer. Bump also created Flock, a group photo sharing app that played off of the major trends of group and photo sharing. The Bump app will continue to operate as is for the time being. Like Instagram, the Bump app was successful as an iOS first app.

This news is interesting because the app relied on people, mobile devices, and location for information sharing.

This news is of interest to libraries because:

  • A) Libraries may be using Bump to share files with users and may want to explore a change plan.
  • B) Libraries have an interest in information transfer tools, practices, and norms.
  • C) Libraries should watch what Google does to peer into tech trends’ transition into mass culture.

Bump lived at the juncture of several mega trends: social sharing, mobile info points, people as info transfer agents.

Watch what Google does to see if the trend of contact sharing has legs in the near future as well as any possible larger integration into the Google ecosystem and the wider info-sphere. Or perhaps Google is just interested in the Bump team and we can expect a closing of the app and that tech area’s chapter.

Bump CEO and cofounder David Lieb reveals few details in a Bump company blog post.

I had previously written about Bump as a way to for libraries transfer info in person in libraries or beyond to maximize the fact that both patron and librarian can be mobile points of information transfer: Libraries can transfer files, reference files, documents, contact info, photos, etc.

All Things D is reporting that the acquisition may have been for around $30 Million and has been “downloaded more than 100 million times”
(http://allthingsd.com/20130916/google-acquires-bump-for-at-least-30m)

More info/media outlets coverage:

- Joe Murphy, Librarian.


From → news, technology

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