Social Comics Patent Acquired by Google

A patent was issued on December 31, 2013, to Google, who want to lay claim to creating and displaying comics on social media in a particular way.

According to Vice’s Motherboard blog, the patent is for:

Communications to be shared on social networks and other electronic modes of communication are presented in comic strip form. The comic strips are created with a simplified user interface and are formatted to be well-suited for display on a selected social network or other electronic facility. The comic strips are displayed in an embedded form directly in the social network or other facility, without the need for a user to go to a separate site to view the comic strip.

The blog notes that if Google makes something like this, it’s hard right now to see just what it is that they’ll have that hasn’t already been seen before, from Microsoft Chat Comics in the ’90s up through Bitstrips much more recently.

“Presently, a user who has a funny item, such as a joke, to share with others does not have a way to do so readily other than by plain text,” said the patent request, adding that text posts are often lost in timelines full of photos and videos.

Of course, just because a patent is requested or even granted doesn’t mean we’ll see something come of this soon; it’s entirely possible they’re experimenting with something and filing a patent just to protect the assets they’re sinking into R&D and the like. Nevertheless, this could turn out to be something for comics that’s akin to Amazon’s storyboard software.