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Could be Facebook a threat to Google?

jilm [PersonRank 10]

Sunday, May 27, 2007
12 years ago2,664 views

You probably know about the new Facebook platform. I think the Facebook route is really clever and will be very interesting, how far they could go alone. Its owner claim that he want keep Facebook outside of hands of Google etc., maybe do an IPO.

Until now when I looked at internet companies I haven´t seen anybody who could compete with Google´s strategy. Google is massively popular as a search engine, have enough money to buy anything interesting, dominate internet marketing – their ad marketplace is by far the biggest one. They also developed nice web applications, in fact no other provider has as wide and quality offering. So in my view they are on the way to become the new portal/OS. NetVibes may be better, Zoho may be better, many small start-ups have interesting products, but they make sense only together.

You can see it – the market is nearly closed, there are no new player, every service just wait until they get acquired by Google/Yahoo/Microsoft. Beyond the holy trio there are only IAC, AOL a New Corp., but with much less ambitions. And only News Corp. succeed (so far) to enter as a new important player by they good hand in buying MySpace. But in fact – only Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are enough technologically savvy.

But there are two weak points in the Google position. First – they are absolutely unable to manage a community, Orkut is crap, all the other Google services are in terms of "communitiness"... just sterile. That´s not because they don´t care – in fact they tried to create a community around Google Video. So if you had a tool how to hurt Google, you could push it probably only through some social netowork – MySpace (which is in my view more a free simple web creator – something like Geocities – that a community server) and Facebook!

Second vulnerability is openess. Google is open when it´s good for them – Talk – but very closed when they see it as an advantage. But today´s web is opening – API etc. Google services are good because they work very well tugether. So if you can use only one provider, you will use Google – they have the best developers. That´s the reason why I don´t believe that Google would ever adopt OpenID – they need own you and know everything about you – they would allow Google ruin its competitors – the whole personlaization thing is all about that. And what more – personalized advertising will be very nice source of income.

And where is the place of Facebook? Facebook could by the possibility to small start-ups such as Metacafe, Zoho, Meebo etc. how to get to the end users. The framework of integration services from different providers. Community server is an ideal dashboard, much better homepage than iGoogle etc. There is still the question whether Facebook could stay alone and find some way how to monetize this position. And also whether they will get confidence of developers – the way how MySpace behave because of its dominant position could by seen by them as a warning.

But still – in my opinion, Facebook Platform is more clever idea going against Google than anything which I have ever seen from any big internet company.

Brinke Guthrie [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

won't happen. as is the case with most dominant companies..Google's threat comes from within. They are the only ones who can knock themselves on the top.

Eytan Buchman [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I think that as a company remains small, it retains the ability to appear more dynamic and up-and-coming. Once the company becomes more established and grows, whether through in-house developments or through acquisitions. It remains to be seen how open Facebook remains. They seem to still be in their growing phase, where they are more prone to be "nicer" in order to get more users.

We have all been following the rumors of the development of Google's new social platform...it remains to be seen how well they do. The question remains how dependent Google is on a community proper. No one will argue that they don't have users, just that the users are united in a cohesive structure. Do they need anything more than that?

Conor Cleary [PersonRank 8]

12 years ago #

I think Facebook's biggest problem to come will be spam and advertising overload. Already those damn chainletters and 'join my FB group!!' wall posts and messages are coming around... but maybe the Facebook generation will finally learn to ignore those things and create a spam-free community.

Also, with the video and music coming into play comes adult-content and copyright issues.

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