With its in-house swimming pools, billiard halls and massage rooms, Google's always had a spendthrift reputation. But this quarter, the search giant out-did itself. Cutting into its first quarter profits, Google's operating expenses increased 54 percent to $2.84 billion up from $1.84 billion a year ago, the company announced in its earnings call Thursday. The news precipitated a 5.4 percent fall in the company's shares in after-hours trading and raised more concerns about Google's new, unsupervised CEO Larry Page. (Meanwhile, Google's other co-founder Sergey Brin is willing to quit if the company expands unscrupulously into China). So what did Google spend all that money on? Here's a breakdown of the big ones:
Research and development costs skyrocketed to $1.2 billion in Q1 2011 up from $818 million in Q1 2010. The company hasn't explained the details of the $408 million increase but it has made its goals clear. "We assume [Google's R&D line items] look something like this," writes Ben Parr at Mashable. "1) Social 2) Social 3) Social." Parr also cites investments into Android and Chrome as likely budget breakers.
Since January, 1,916 people have joined the ranks of Google's payroll. The hiring binge brought its workforce total to 26,316.