I finally sold my Google shares this morning after mulling it over for a week. Here’s why: Facebook.com
Has Facebook seriously challenged Googles dominance in any sector to date?
A few. A fairly large chunk of core market share has been lost to the Facebook advertising network. Many experts cite the higher quality traffic as a reason to invest more highly in Facebook ads rather than Googles advertising network. Facebook also allows advertisers to include a picture with the ad, thereby making it easier to get a readers attention to the core copy. These same experts suggest the competition has shaken Google. Facebook one, Google nill.
What’s next for Facebook?
I predict they will build out a search network, followed by a complete emailing service.
Wait, what! Google is king in those areas. KING!
True, Google dominates those markets for now but there are a lot of interesting financial incentives to encourage and prod Facebook to move in and compete for market share in those areas.
Search brings in the largest numbers of users to any website, as can be seen from Alexa positions of Google, Yahoo and Bing. As any market matures, it consolidates its assets towards a larger, less flexible machine. That’s what we’ll be seeing in the next few years. Facebook has the engineers, it has the PhDs and it has the cash to do it. It also has significant investment in data analytics networks and procedural recommendation systems. Two Mathematical areas of interest to the future of search. Other than a “Panda update” Google has become very lax on the “cool innovative stuff” of late.
Most casual Internet users have 3 websites they use regularly:
Email. The last one is the big one for user data; Facebook email. Google is already parsing and analyzing your emails to better target ads at you. What if Facebook did that at the same scale? There is already the hint of an “inbox” system in Facebook, but its not work ready yet. Once matured, it will not only compete, but I say defeat the old fashioned email systems of the last decade.
I predict in 2012 we’ll see a Facebook search system based on friend recommendations. The basics being, if your network of friends already approved a link as high quality, then you’ll see it higher up in your search results.
By 2012 again, I predict Facebook will have more serious email functionality built into its network. Allowing emails to be sent back and forth, together with “tweets” and notifications and chat functionality. A complete conversational environment.
Putting the two together then, I’d say by 2013 Facebook will own the web. Search, email and social. Through your computer, mobile and any other internet enabled device you use.
All from a single location: FB.com
That is, unless Larry Page (returning Google CEO, replacing CEO Sergey Brin and the guy who gave Google that magic and drive for inventiveness in the good old days) can bring the magic back to Google (I give it a 20% chance), the party is pretty much over. Google has become too bureaucratic and too stupid to care until the nut drops, but by then it’ll obviously be just a little too late.
The talent and drive for innovation just isn’t there any more.
Buy or sell?