Facebook's announcements on F8 (read here) clearly are yet another sign that there is a lot going on in the battle between the top online properties. It's about the internet user (yes, about eyeballs too) and about ad revenue. In fact, it's about domination on the WWW.
What do you think Zuckerberg really said when stating yesterday that the purpose was to “make Facebook the centre of the increasingly social and more personalised experience that people encounter when they use the Internet” and that it wants to enable other websites and online applications to share information across the user base of Facebook (that counts 400 million people…).
What he really said was “the battle is really open now, Google”. And it's all about us: the "users".
Both companies are also locking their horns in what can be termed as the mother of all marketing battles over advertising revenue. And then there is search.
Google tried to get into the social media space with Buzz but the result was disastrous.
After being flooded with criticism over privacy issues, it was forced to alter the service merely three days after its launch. I guess everyone knows why by now: Google failed to understand the fact that people do not want their email contacts to become their social networking contacts.
Google goes social, social goes Google?
Google Buzz now got closer to the message functionality of Facebook but it’s obvious, that where Google is trying to make an entry in the social networking space, Facebook is doing the same in areas where we traditionally see companies such as Google and Microsoft: web-based email, to name just one.
And what about search? It is known that social networking properties offer PPC ad models like Google (and sometimes a bit different) but also that social networking sites gain importance in finding (and thus searching for) valuable information.
Facebook and Microsoft/Bing: what's the real deal?
Where does Microsoft fit in? Despite the occasional data regarding slight growth, Microsoft’s Bing is nowhere near Google (I can tell and you as well if you have a blog: just check your analytics).
It’s not a secret that Google’s ad revenues are huge. The PPC ads have made the company what it is and, I don’t know if you noticed, Google is increasingly showing display ads.
You can be sure that Facebook wants to grow its share regarding online ad revenues. Since the budgets will not grow as they used to, it is a battle for existing and shifting budgets.
Will Facebook play the game With Microsoft? They still have a deal, be it a different one.
Yesterday’s announcement of Docs.com shows there is still love between Facebook and Microsoft.
Towards the social search engine?
While Google is spreading its wings into the social platform space, Facebook, the preferred social network choice for millions around the world, is spreading its wings into other areas.
It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft and Bing use their functional power to capture the social search space alone or with Facebook. Everybody against Google now?
Regarding search, Bing appears to be on 'softer side of search'. It probably lies somewhere in between Google’s algorithm and Facebook’s social “data-sphere.”
Though it differs from Google’s steadfast mathematical approach, Bing serves the search results after it has taken into account the result of those who searched before.
Searches at Bing therefore are already socialized by those who might have searched before which enhances the result.
Are Bing and Facebook building the social search engine? And is it a coincidence that Google came with its “real-time” search?
Hello, Madison Avenue
In terms of the integration of social, search, etc., it’s obvious where we are going to. In terms of the companies involved it’s still a bit unclear although it starts getting clearer.
And then there still is the display ad and other ad business (the Facebook ad study with Nielsen hasn't been published just for fun).
The battle for the dominance on the world wide web is open but so is that for Madison Avenue and for us.
The question is what Madison Avenue will do (read here) but Facebook this week sent out very clear signals…
And regarding the battle for us: it will cost us privacy.