Facebook and Google. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, you’ve gotta admit that together they make up an enormous part of the internet as we know it.
But it’s probably not surprising that the two giants tend to bump heads. The websites may have had separate purposes initially, but as each site gets more and more complex, their functions have started to overlap. And this, of course, makes them rivals. Then, the fact that both companies also collect mass quantities of info about the people who use their websites fuels the rivalry because it also puts them in competition for this information. And then there’s the fact that internet marketing has taken off big time, and every day everywhere, businesses are deciding whether to send their advertising dollars to Google or Facebook. In short, these companies are becoming more the same than different, which actually makes them less likely to hold hands and frolic through the playground of cyberspace.
What the Rivalry Looks Like
The beef between the two rivals made the news in the spring when Facebook hired a public relations firm to get the word out about privacy concerns relating to Google’s Social Circles feature. Not surprisingly, this move didn’t improve the relationship between Google and Facebook, and ultimately it brought negative publicity to both companies – Google, because of the allegations, and Facebook, because of the way it went about publicizing them.
Meanwhile, despite the drama, both Facebook and Google are still growing and changing. And as they do, it seems that both companies are moving toward the idea of a hybrid between a search engine and a social network. For Facebook, this meant partnering with Microsoft’s Bing to incorporate recommendations from one’s Facebook friends into one’s Bing search results. (Check out this PC World article for the details.) For Google, that meant rolling our Google+, the hot new Google social experience (think Facebook, but with the Google look and feel) But whether you use Google or the Bing/Facebook tag team to conduct your web searches, you’ll find that your search results might incorporate some feedback from your acquaintances. Or in other words, that the idea behind Google and the idea behind Facebook are merging to create a new idea – “social search.”
Regardless of how things play out for these two, it’s a fun time to be an Albany web designer and overall computer nerd. We get to sit back and enjoy the play by play of how these gargantuan internet forces change the average guy’s internet experience. One day Facebook starts using facial recognition software to help you tag your friends in photos…one day Google makes voice and image search possible…and little by little they make that internet of ours bigger and smarter and more powerful. If competition is going to keep these companies experimenting and growing and moving forward…then by all means, guys, keep that rivalry going strong.Filed under: Experiencing the Web