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Google Acquires Emu, Instant-Messaging App, and Directr, Mobile Video App

Google Acquires Emu, Instant-Messaging App, and Directr, Mobile Video App

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Last week, Google made two major announcements: It has acquired Emu, an instant-messaging app, and Directr, a mobile-video app startup.

Emu, founded by ex-Google and Apple employee Gummi Hafsteinsson, is similar to Google Now because it predicts what users want to do next and offers assistance. However, it also uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to help understand context and content of messages. This acquisition will help Google compete with major competitors Siri, of Apple and Cortara, of Windows.  However, Google claims that Directr is different than those two competitors because it uses a machine learning element that allows it to learn behaviors and fine tune suggestions for users.

Makers of the app have an advantage in this realm as they describe themselves as “alumni of Apple, Google and Yahoo”. Emu made its debut on Android last year in October, and was introduced to iOS in April 2014.

Google’s YouTube unit has also acquired Directr, an app that easily allows you to make videos from your phone, despite how little film experience you may have. You can make a number of business videos including Testimonials, HR, Profiles, Product, Series, and Recruitment. Membership could cost up to $499.99 / year for Premium users, however with this acquisition, Directr will soon be free. The Directr team made the announcement on its blog on Wednesday: 

Our small band of scrappy film lovers set out 2 years ago to help regular folks make great video. Today, we are incredibly excited to take the next step on that journey and announce that we are joining the video ads team at YouTube… For now, everything you love about Directr is staying the same and we’ll continue to focus on helping businesses create great video quickly and easily. One immediate bonus: Directr will soon be all free, all the time. Thanks, YouTube!

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This deal will be great for small business owners looking to create videos for their businesses, as it can cost upwards of $5,000 for a production team to make a five minute professional video. The acquisition of Directr is just the latest in Google’s efforts to encourage small businesses to advertise on their platform. In May, Google acquired Appetas, a two-person startup that had been focused on helping restaurants optimize their websites for mobile devices. Also, Google My Business suite of tools is geared toward helping small businesses appear in Google search and Google Maps.

The acquisition of Emu is going to level Google in the artificial intelligence playing field, and Directr may change the game for small business owner strategies, encouraging them to use the YouTube platform for their businesses. These two announcements will likely make a major positive impact over time for Google and investors alike.