Where next for Google's mobile voice strategy?
Given its penetration into several areas of the mobile ecosystem, (such as the operating system itself) and its own proclamations that it now has a "mobile first" strategy, it is perhaps not surprising that Google is looking to make more of an entry into the voice market, as speculated in recent posts and press articles.
After all, the search giant bought Gizmo5, a VoIP service similar to that of Skype not that long ago, and both Google Voice and Google Talk have been around for some time. Current speculation has Google on the point of launching a Voice desktop application to make and receive calls, a la Skype.
While such a launch is not unlikely, Google's motives are more than likely to go further than merely reproducing a successful VoIP model. Remember: the company's ultimate strategy is to enable search across all platforms and technologies (the reason, incidentally, for developing its own open source mobile operating system a couple of years ago).
What could be better for the advertiser than a desktop environment from which calls are made, where advertisers can place their own targeted message, sure in the knowledge that Google knows pretty much what the individual user wants through recent searches?
And what if Google takes it a bit further and extends the platform to the mobile device? And what then if it makes it all free, funding it on the back of advertising revenues?
Fanciful? Maybe. But the model has been tried by companies such as the MVNO Blyk in the UK, and though the company has not managed to create the Pan European presence that it might have hoped for, it is still in business after two years on the back of such a model.
Two things that are needed for VoIP success, a massive footprint- Google definately has that, and a reason to use the service. Making it "free" could surely achieve that... For Google the rewards would all be in the advertising revenues. Voice, so long the cash cow, will have become a mere facilitator of advertsing revenues.