Facebook eats Googles lunch by 2012

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:

  • Search
  • Facebook/social
  • Email

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.


Executive Summary:

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.

It’s old.

Its Altavista.

Buy or sell?

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12 Responses to Facebook eats Googles lunch by 2012

  1. It would be interesting to see you at the end of 2013 eating your words “Putting the two together then, I’d say by 2013 Facebook will own the web. “.

    • Facebook is moving in to search/recommendation engines and increased communication capabilities in the social space (ie. Email)…its gonna happen ;), the question is: Can it beat Google?…I think it has the engineers, drive and cash to do it. No doubt about it.

    • Predicting anything online is hard, but the reason why I believe this is accurate is because I see my client’s ad dollars headed to Facebook. Not just directly to Facebook, but throughout the surrounding advertising ecosystem: to PopularFans and other similar fan acquisition services. Not only that, but companies have started promoting their Facebook URL on their print and television ads. That reminds me of the 90s when everybody was on AOL and companies would promote certain AOL keywords to search. This isn’t to say that Google isn’t still going to be a big-time player: they’re just not going to dominate online traffic and importance like Facebook will in the near term. If they combine location with daily deals system with all of the personal info they have about people, they can come up with relevant ads like nobody else and if I had the means right now I’d be all over investing in Facebook.

  2. IMHO Facebook has potential to do things to give hard time to other players in the industry like MFST, apple, Google, yahoo but if they focus on what they are good it will makes them different from the crowd since now all these players slowly copying what fb does i.E. Like, share etc now you can see on linkedin, google , MFST etc so i bet fb will make new era.

  3. I think 2012 is too soon. Google is too big a company just to fold to Facebook in that short period of time. Unlike Myspace, Google has a lot of different options and I believe they’re already looking for solution against facebook.

    • I think the social is much more difficult to emulate than search or comms. I always go back to facebook, but if gmail shuts, or google search folds i’d quickly start using hotmail or yahoo search. But how quickly can I replace my friend network on facebook (or twitter for that matter), its a lot of friends to reconnet with.

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  5. Seiymor Wanyek

    Following searching Google I found your site. I think both are great and I is going to be arrival back again to you and them in the long term. Thanks rather a lot for this info.

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  7. Probably the biggest thing left completely out of this “prediction”…

    Email’s biggest use is in business, do you really think that businesses are going to move their email accounts to a company that hosts their employee’s personal diaries?.

    • I didn’t realize that, excellent comment Grant and certainly an important point. Facebook is personal + marketing and hasn’t really been used at all for serious B2B yet. Clever insight indeed!.