Google, Facebook Fierce Tech Rivalry Looms: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-02-04 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

NEWS ANALYSIS: Google and Facebook have their gun sights set on each other. As Facebook gains huge new riches with its initial public stock offering, the competition between these two giants is likely to become fierce and even nasty.

When Facebook first launched, it was looked at as a niche social network. The site catered to college kids and seemed to be destined to live in that world. But after an increasing number of people joined the site, and its CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg decided to open it up to the general public all that changed. Now, Facebook is a Web juggernaut, and is closing in on a billion active users.

Meanwhile, Google is lurking in the shadows. The company is undoubtedly the most dominant Internet company in the world and its continued growth in both search and advertising is enough to worry any competitor. Even the mighty Microsoft has been forced to wonder if Google could one day put its business to shame. Microsoft detractors might argue that it has already done so.

But Facebook is a different beast altogether. The world€™s largest social network is growing like a weed and it€™s starting to cut into Google€™s advertising business. Meanwhile, with its IPO looming, Facebook will soon be flush with the cash it needs to go head-to-head with Google.

Get ready for a big battle between the companies. And read on to find out why they€™re tech€™s next big rivalry:

1. Both are vying for ads

Both Microsoft and Google rely heavily upon Web advertising to drive their businesses. Facebook has tried expanding into a virtual currency, known as Credits, which has helped buoy revenue, but for now, advertising is its focus. Google has long been the world leader in Web ads. But that has changed as of late as Facebook has generated billions of dollars from ads. Look for that to be a key reason for their battle in the coming years.

2. Both are vying for the same users

Aside from ads, Google and Facebook are both trying to attract the same Web users. With so many people who use the Internet heading to Google and Facebook each day, the goal for each company now is to get them going to their respective sites. In order to achieve that, their business interests will continue to clash.

3. Google is no longer about getting rid of you

There was a time when Google€™s ultimate goal was to attract users to its site, help them find a Web page they wanted to visit and get rid of them as quickly as possible. Google was a middleman that facilitated Web traffic. Nowadays, Google has become far more €œsticky,€ attracting users to its online productivity suite, photos, email, and more. Facebook is also one of those €œsticky€ sites. That can only mean one thing: a battle.

4. Online video is a sore subject

When Google acquired YouTube, there was some speculation that the search giant wouldn€™t be able to muster a positive return on its investment. Google has only recently started to prove those naysayers wrong. However, Facebook has also become a huge video destination, as users post new clips on the social network for friends to see. Facebook doesn€™t have the 4 billion daily video views YouTube does, but it€™s closing in on the search company.



 
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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