There have been lots of rumors floating about that Google is in talks to purchase Riya! I first learned about these rumors from Niall's blog here
If the rumors are not true, they should be! In other words, ever since I read the review about Riya on Techcrunch
, it became very obvious that Riya has potentially a huge competitive advantage.
Why? Because they combine tagging with the power of automation. In other words, it means you only need to tag your friends once and let the computer do the rest as you continue to take more and more pictures. As consumers take thousands and thousands of digital pictures it is very clear that they only want to train one software product on how to recognize people in their network and then let that product annotate their entire picture library. More over, whose photo album are you more likely to want to check out online? The one where all pictures are tagged by name, etc. so you can quickly find what you are looking for or the album where few pictures are tagged, which limits your ability to just see the pictures you care about.
While Google owns Picassa, they completely missed out on online photo sharing, and Flickr has clearly been a run away success amassing over 1 billion pictures.
Well, Google could start to catch up very quickly if it combined Riya with Picassa. In fact, they might be able to leapfrog Flickr in a big way! So, I would be very surprised if Google misses out on the one company that appears to have the technology right now to take digital picture sharing to a whole new level. Then again, if I were on Yahoo!'s side, I would also try to buy Riya to further extend the lead over Google.google riya