Sunday, July 04, 2010

Facebook threat to Google

I have been a regular internet user since 1999 and have been on the Usenet since1990 and I have never seen an application have so much usage then Facebook. So I really consider that Facebook is a threat to Google. I first followed Google when it was seen as a good alternative to Altavista and actually bet our companies website future on Google in 2000. Same bet I did by going Microsoft when everyone else was going Novell Netware.

My understanding of Google before the IPO was that it wanted to get as much informtation in the world as possible and to add to that is Eric Schmidt quote.

We want to make sure the thing you're looking for is on Google 100 percent of the time.

So what makes me think that Facebook is serious threat to Googles aim. In Fiji the internet really started getting significant exposure around five years ago but a significant amount of people if Fiji access the net through internet shops e.g internet Cafe.

In the last few months I have been taking my family to one of the biggest internet shops in Fiji to play Modern Warfare. We have been doing this on and off for the last five years. In terms of internet access the majority of time they spent was on sites like bebo. But when I went I remember seeing people using Yahoo, Gmail, Skype, Bebo, Facebook and other Sites that I can't remember. But last night nearly every single person that was not playing a game was on Facebook and if not was on Skype.

What I also found hard to believe is the amount of hard core gamers playing facebook games while having a break from Modern Warfare and instead of using Skype and MSN a lot of users are using the Facebook chat.

I joined Facebook in 2007 and two years ago I had only two friends from my high school in Australia and one cousin from Sydney . Now I have more then thirty people from my year in School and nearly every single Australian cousin on Facebook. So this is not just a phenomena in Fiji.  An if you look at the searches for Google and Facebook below it shows that Facebook caught Google in 2008 and is now five times more searched but that isn't the threat.

The threat is that Facebook is closed garden so google can't search it properly, so will not be able to record what is happening in the world like they can with twitter. Which brings me up another experience in that I have not seen anyone access twitter in an internet cafe in Fiji and my kids ask me what is twitter. So what can Google do. I don't think they can compete due to it being the application is now solid and has to many good features that users want at the moment. There has to be a significant reason for users to move to something else. What I see is that as Mark Zuckerberg still has major say in the direction of Facebook, it won't screw up as he understand his market and since there is no Initial Public Offering, he is still the boss.

I can only see Facebook screwing up if it is taken over by corporation just look at Bebo and MySpace. Youtube will be next once Facebook has solid video upload feature

Facebook is becoming the database of all the people of the world with photos, history and motivations and this is something that Google wanted to do. This fact was shown to me when my son said Dadda I can see your photo on the internet which is something that kind of shocked me as my name have been anonymous in the last ten years of the internet.


Anonymous George said...

I forgot to mention that besides myself there are eight people that use the internet in our house and they all now are on facebook users the majority of their time.

When a few months ago the older gang used gmail, yahoo, skype while the students used bebo, youtube and google images.

11:16 am  

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