Google is huge. It is huge on the web and it is a huge corporation. Being cash-rich it is able to research lots of new technologies and provide all sorts of 'freemium' services (give it away free of charge, but offer a paid version with all the trimmings).
By way of a short history lesson, watch this infographic by OnlinePhD.org:
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This is a feed of everything I'm interested in, filtered and categorised according to my choices. Channels: Twitter (multiple accounts) Facebook groups Facebook pages Google+ LinkedIn Flickr Youtube Website RSS Webpage updates ... (more)