When is Google’s birthday? It depends…

27 Sep 2016

Google. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

Google is finally an adult, celebrating its 18th birthday with a party-popping Doodle. Although, its true birthday is open to debate.

While Google is choosing to celebrate on 27 September, pinning down an actual birthdate could prove more difficult.

The Google.com domain, the world’s most popular search engine, was registered over 19 years ago, with a Google-branded newsletter following suit 18 years and six months ago.

Future Human

When is Google’s birthday?

A major funding round saw Andy Bechtolsheim write a check for $100,000 to invest in an entity that technically didn’t exist in August 1998. On 4 September 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin filed papers to incorporate Google as an actual business.

Since then, the domain has used a Doodle to celebrate its birthday but each year has seen the goalposts shifted, with this year’s choice one of the later picks.

Considering that it is one of the world’s most iconic brands and one that has transformed the digital age, perhaps letting Google choose the date is not the worst thing in the world.

The Doodle is one of the rarer ones with a global reach. Norway’s Svalbard region, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Sudan and South Sudan are the few countries who cannot view the balloon-filled gif.

When is Google’s birthday?

It’s a busy time for Google, with its answer to Amazon Echo due out on 4 October. This signals a speeding up of the impending smart home push, while also pinning its hopes on what many perceive as the next stage of instant messaging: conversational commerce.

Google bought API.AI, a natural language and speech recognition company, earlier this month.

“Our vision has been to make technology understand and speak human language and help developers build truly intelligent conversational interfaces for their products and services,” said the latter, after Google snapped it up.

There are also growing rumours that Google, in competition with Salesforce and Microsoft, is eyeing up a move to acquire Twitter.

Google birthday. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic