Google buys Bump, but why?

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 17 Sep 2013

The iPhone doesn’t have Bluetooth file sharing or file sharing of any sort for that matter. If you have an iPhone, your friend has an iPhone, and you want to send them a photo, it has to go through the cloud. This was what inspired the creation of “Bump” back in 2008. Simply open the Bump app on your iPhone, bump it against another iPhone that also has the app open, and boom, file transfer.

Last night, Google bought Bump.

According to AllThingsD, they paid between $30 million and $60 million. The obvious question to ask here is why? Let’s start with the painful truth: Sharing files locally isn’t exactly a great experience. Despite the fact that most phones over $250 have NFC, it still hasn’t made file sharing any easier. People often resort to using a third party messaging client like WhatsApp or Facebook or even Snapchat to share photos instead of going through the hassle of moving files between two devices.

With the Bump acquisition, Google can bake idiot proof file sharing into Android. But more importantly, they can also include something I’d like to call “action bumps”. See a parking meter or a movie poster or a public transport map? Hold your phone in your hand, bump it anywhere against said object, and get presented with a list of things you can now do.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this news quite shortly. Do you have any theories?