It Remains to Be Seen if the World Is Too Small for Such Internet Monsters as These

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-04-01 Print this article Print


In February, ComScore reported that Facebook's 50 million daily users punched in 336 million search requests, certainly a large number in itself but barely on the radar against Google, which records billions of searches per day.

Based on sheer numbers of users, search is a huge business€”probably the best monetization of the Internet there is. But Google has a full decade jump on creating all those algorithms, building all those specialized applications and storing all those Web pages. It would be quite a trick for Facebook to gain any sort of market share there, although it is advisable not to underestimate Zuckerberg's business acumen.

On the other hand, in the fourth quarter of 2011, Facebook widened the lead it took earlier in the year against Google and now accounts for just more than of 12 percent of all time online, and this appears to be climbing, ComScore reported. Three out of every 10 Internet sessions include a Facebook visit, and Facebook accounts now represent 10 percent of all page views in the United States.

The word "Facebook" itself also was the top organic search phrase in 2010 with nearly 2 billion searches on that term€”three times greater than the next-most-searched-for term. Tells you something, doesn't it?

However, if Google search is a 25-year-old out of college that's energized to go-go-go, Facebook's version is a newborn that's still in wonderment at the world and learning how to read faces in the Internet environment. 

Silicon Valley is not a large region, and it remains to be seen whether it€”and the world at large€”is too small a place for two Internet monsters like these.

Is a Balance of Power Feasible?

Can there be a balance of power, sort of like the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s? Or will each set out to destroy the other in an attempt at complete Internet world domination?

So far, there haven't been too many curses at each other reported, except probably behind closed doors regarding the inevitable patent lawsuits that most companies have to face at one time or another. It's hard not to expect that a real clash of the Internet titans will soon be at hand. But a battle to the death? Probably not.

There appears to be plenty of room in the ever-expanding Internet for services like those offered by both companies. The competitive environment has been a good and clean one up to now. What remains to be seen is what new company will surface this year (perhaps Pinterest?) and go public in 2020€”eight years from now€”to show us all something new.

Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: @editingwhiz

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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