Battle of the Titans: Google vs. Facebook


Get ready to rumble!

Google is worried about Facebook.  Very worried.

Why?

Because people are spending less time on the Internet and more time on Facebook.  Web browsing is already old school.  Discovery and sharing are happening on social networks – not on search engines.

The way people are using the internet is changing rapidly.  Search has become a function and a tool – not a destination.  People are no longer relying on search engine algorithms to direct them to content, but instead rely on their social circles.

We click on links provided by friends, colleagues and family – trusted sources.  This stream of relevant content is pushed to us on our Facebook News Feeds – our own personalized newspapers.

We can catch up with friends, view photographs and videos, and read blog posts and news articles that have been specifically recommended by people we know.  We can even use our Facebook pages to ask questions and solicit recommendations.  Google and other search engines cannot provide this kind of customized, personalized experience – although they are trying.

That’s why Google announced this week the beta launch of Google+.  Google+ is Google’s answer to online community and social networking (yes, Google has been down this road before and has a poor track record in the space.  Remember Buzz?).  Google+ is its answer to Facebook.

The primary difference between Google+ and Facebook is Google+’s ability to create segmented social circles.  It’s a way to keep co-workers separate from your college friends, for example.  Expect Facebook to roll out a similar feature soon.

Google+ is new and early reviews haven’t been terrific, but that doesn’t mean much.  If Google is making a serious bid into social with Google+ then hopefully the company will put some marketing and communications efforts behind the new project.  Google’s tendency to float projects and then watch to see what happens is not the right strategy if it plans on taking on Facebook.

Facebook, you can be sure, will not be taking this broadside by Google quietly.  In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to take some of the thunder away from Google’s news by saying Facebook has an “awesome” product launch ready for next week.

Google vs. Facebook.  Get ready to rumble.

Links:

Goodbye Internet, Hello Social Web

Social Studies blog post on Google+

The Google Blog on Google+

All Facebook post on Zuckerberg’s “Awesome” Product Launch

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