Facebook Messages Ups the Ante in Rivalry with Google

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-11-15 Print this article Print


6. The world is social 

Google is a top online destination. But the company's services are utilities that folks use to make their lives a little bit easier. Facebook is slightly different. It's a place where people communicate and entertain themselves away from their offline lives. That has obviously caught on. And going forward, the social craze doesn't seem to be slowing down. That could play into Facebook's favor-and against Google. 

7. The possibilities are endless 

Let's face it: Facebook's potential is endless. With so many active users, it's possible that Facebook can enter into several different markets, including mapping, document creation and many others, and be successful. Of course, that doesn't mean that it will, but it's always a possibility. And as the company's messaging platform shows, Facebook is willing to redefine markets where it believes it has a chance at being successful. 

8. Privacy 

The big issue with Google and Facebook continues to be how they handle user privacy. As Google's recent issues with its Buzz social network and Street View mapping service show, the company has trouble to that end. But so does Facebook. Many of its missteps have been related to privacy in some way. But with the social network's new messaging platform, users will be able to choose who can contact them and who cannot. Plus, the platform won't examine information in messages to target ads at users. It's a step in the right direction. Furthermore, it could give Facebook the privacy upper hand over Google going forward. 

9. Facebook is becoming more Google-like 

Facebook has implemented search into its offering; it now has a quasi Gmail competitor; and it's a key player in Web advertising. Google has tried its luck with social networking with Buzz, and it hasn't worked out so well. The reason why is simple: Trying to get the vast majority of Web users to a single service to communicate is really hard. Matching an entrenched competitor is extremely difficult. That's a challenge that Facebook continues to face as it attempts to steal ad market share from Google, but it's easy to see that Facebook is having more success at becoming Google-like than Google is at becoming Facebook-like. 

10. The virtual world 

Although most people may not think of this when they compare Facebook and Google, the impact that virtual goods can have on the future of both companies is significant. Virtual goods revenue is on the rise, with the possibility of people spending $14 billion in 2014. Facebook is home to some of the top games in the world, thanks to Zynga, and the company has the ability to capitalize quite effectively on that. But Google isn't positioned as effectively. That can very easily change going forward, but given how much money is at stake in the virtual goods market, Facebook's positioning should worry Google.


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel