UPDATED: Brewing Google-Facebook War on Multiple Fronts


fight_small.jpgADOTAS – UPDATE: The Google social network, codename “Google Me,” is for realz, yo — well, according to former Facebook CTO and Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo. He writes on Quora that his reliable sources say a bunch of Googlers are modeling a “first-class social network” off of Facebook and that it is a high priority project. Interestingly, he adds that Google expected Facebook’s growth to taper off, but “now they are really scared.”

If you felt like the Google-Apple grudge match was getting stale, you must require intolerable levels of tension for stimulation. However, it looks like you could get your fix because Google may have another sparring partner.

AllFacebook.com reported on Friday that outside websites were popping up in Facebook internal search results. Facebook has souped up its search feature via the Open Graph protocol released in April — 50,000 sites had “Like” buttons within three weeks.

So press the Like button on a website and it could appear in your next internal Facebook search alongside that kid you knew in elementary school that ate his boogers. Wah-lah — a social search engine, a buzz word that’s been humming like a radiator for months now. Of course somebody has already called it a “Google Killer.”

Seems a bit far-fetched — according to comScore, Facebook had a whopping 2.7% share of search traffic in March — compared to Google’s 63.7% in May, and is not in comScore’s top five search engines.

In addition, Facebook search won’t necessarily have better results than Google, but they will be more customized, based on user preferences. However,we don’t always want to go to the same restaurant over and over again: search is about discovery, and it’s pretty limiting when a search engine answers your queries with places that you already like. In theory, Google and Facebook searches would be two flavors of the same soda. Why am I really hungry all of a sudden?

So it’s highly unlikely that Facebook search will rival Google — even Facebook is trying to downplay the notion of a rivalry. However, Facebook does wants to be THEE portal for access to the Internet, the first place anyone and everyone goes when hopping on the web. COO Sheryl Sandberg even suggested “email is going away” the other week (to not enough derision), which could be seen as a poke at Gmail.

But a majority of poll respondents at Adotas said that Facebook was likely to be long forgotten before email, and my money is the same goes for its relationship with Google.

And what do we have over here? Whispers are flooding the Internet tubes that Google is developing a social networking site called “Google Me.” Digg founder Kevin Rose tweeted about it, saying he heard it from a “very credible source.”

After the Buzz fiasco, it’s not like Google has a sterling reputation in the social networking world. However, the company’s second shot typically has been consistently more on target — take a look at Chrome and Android. Hopefully they’ll spend more time developing the product this time.

How often have you heard in the past several months that “I’d leave Facebook but there’s no alternative”? Just look at the funding for Diaspora. If anybody could stand up as a real challenger, however, it’s Big G.


  1. Both Google and Facebook have serious issues when it comes to user privacy and data collection. I’d leave both if there were good alternatives where my data, searches, etc… would not be recorded, tracked and monitored for future “undisclosed” use.


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