Google has won patent approval for a system allowing people to create comic strips they can then integrate into social networks and apps.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) granted the patent for the "self-creation of comic strips in social networks and other communications", or as Google engineer Satish Kumar Sampath says, comic strips created with a simplified user interface and which are formatted for display on Facebook.
"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," Sampath said.
"Numerous websites allow end users to easily create their own comic strips, which allow text to be provided with additional visual context, but the strips thus created are not well adapted to be embedded within social network interfaces.
"Also lacking is the ability to directly create and share jokes as comic strips directly from the social network websites, thus the users today must go to a different website to create any strips they need and then import such creations into their social network websites."
Recently services including Bitstrips have boosted their popularity, with several short comic strips being developed for free by users and shared via social networking sites including Facebook.