“Facebook vs. Google” May Extend Well Beyond Social

Facebook May Have an Edge Over Google in Mobile, Despite Android

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The Facebook/Google competition is getting more and more interesting. Last week, we talked about Google’s social plans and what "Google Me" will actually be. Basically, what it comes down to is that it  will not be a new social network, but rather a "social layer" added to existing Google products. 

I made the case that "Google Me" is probably already bigger than Facebook, based on Google’s existing products, and that if the company gets the social integration right, it could be a huge for capturing social media attention. Within that article, I made the point that Google has advantages like a browser and two operating systems (Chrome OS and Android). 

Who has the competitive edge in social: Google or Facebook? Tell us what you think

While I still think these are advantages in some ways, after reading what Mark Zuckerberg had to say about the company’s mobile strategy, I’m not sure just how big of an advantage these operating systems are after all, with regards to Google competing with Facebook for social attention. Essentially, Facebook’s plan is to be on every device, and build deeper integration into as many devices as possible by working with manufacturers and carriers. Here are some highlight quotes from Zuckerberg from his interview with TechCrunch: 

Mark Zuckerberg Getting Richer"Our strategy is very horizontal. We’re trying to build a social layer for everything. Basically we’re trying to make it so that every app everywhere can be social whether it’s on the web, or mobile, or other devices. So inherently our whole approach has to be a breadth-first approach rather than a depth-first one."

"Our role is to be a platform for making all of these apps more social, and it’s kind of an extension of what we see happening on the web, with the exception of mobile, which I think will be even more important than the web in a few years – maybe even sooner. "

"The web is only at one and a half billion people whereas everyone is going to have a phone and all the phones are going to be smartphones. So our strategy is that we want to go wherever people are building apps so we can make all of those apps social if they want that."

"We can do a single sign-on if we do a good integration with a phone, rather than just doing something where you go to an app and it’s automatically social or having to sign into each app individually. Those are the two options on the web. Why not for mobile? Just make it so that you log into your phone once, and then everything that you do on your phone is social."

Zuckerberg also implies that neither a browser nor an operating system are part of Facebook’s strategy. In terms of mobile, why should they be, if they can get "deeper integration" in every existing device – in those operating systems? Facebook is already getting deep integration on Android phones through things like contact sync. 

Of course Google can try a similar strategy of getting deeper integration on more devices with its various products, beyond Android (it’s done pretty well with that in terms of search already), but it might have a harder time than Facebook when it comes to offerings from companies like Apple and Microsoft. In fact, Google’s own Android will likely help Facebook with its strategy, thanks to its "openness". 

If Facebook can dominate mobile in the same way its dominating the web – in terms of simply having a presence everywhere – it is going to be hard to contend with for social. While Google does have Android and can always do any kind of Google integration it wants to with that (as well as with Chrome and Chrome OS), manufacturers and carriers utilizing Android may still feel it necessary to include that deep Facebook integration, whether Google likes it or not. 

One other potentially huge factor in this whole thing is Facebook Credits. According to a New York Times article, citing information from Inside Network, the market for Facebook Credits is expected to reach $835 million this year, and it’s really just getting started. As the article points out, Credits could one day extend beyond just apps on Facebook itself, just as Facebook has extended itself across the web. You can sign into many sites with your Facebook account. Why not pay with it? That’s just speculation at this point, but the possibility is very real.  This could make payments a lot simpler for users, especially on mobile. It could be huge for e-commerce – another area in which Google may find itself competing with Facebook.

Can Google contend with Facebook’s strategy? Share your thoughts

“Facebook vs. Google” May Extend Well Beyond Social
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  • http://www.straightalk.biz straightalk

    @STRAIGHTALK Facebook is Stumping Google for the Fact!, FB is Social & Google only connects! They need To Build a Off/Online Group Network!

  • http://www.techdex.net Dexter

    I would offer that Google has the advantage based on their position in the global market, the services they offer, and the shear strength of presence. Facebook is at a disadvantage and fighting an uphill battle. Their focus is social media-based and they are trying to penetrate a market where Google already exists. For example, Facebook wants to be dominant in the mobile environment. Google is light years ahead not only because of their own mobile technology, but because of their services like Google Search for mobile, and one of the tools I hope comes back to labs, the Google App Builder (which allows you to create your own mobile apps). Facebook is going to have to roll up pretty strong to edge in.

    Lord help Facebook if Google decides to open up GMAIL to user-advertising. Because then it’s over. The big Facebook drive began a while ago thanks to Internet Marketers who were shut down by Google (many for questionable practices). They saw Google as a drying up market because of it, and as they had huge lists, they pushed to use Facebook as a replacement platform to ply their trade.

    Eventually Facebook will get with the times and implement similar restrictions on business operations for Internet Marketers, especially with privacy being a hot button topic.

    • Guest

      Facebook will murder Google! Facebook spends all it’s effort on social networking, Google is making more enemies left and right…

  • Guest

    What is facebook — I’ve never used it.

    • Guest

      What is facebook? Its a company that makes people believe they have thousands of friends while using those people to generate ad impressions to make the owners rich. Other than that, its not much of a benefit to anyone.

    • http://www.makwin.com/ DLM

      But imagine those people who have no idea how they would spend their time creatively. if they revoke Facebook will have to think.
      However, Google somehow contains within itself Facebook

  • http://www.freearticlesmix.com articles

    Google seems to be taking its time but they need to act fast before facebook conquer the billion users, I believe that google can do it but they just won’t do much or is just what it seems to me. I think google should create some social network away from gmail and the other applications and just use them as an option without forcing users to sign up for other stuff.

  • Guest

    Let’s be serious here. Do we really want to live in a world ran by Facebook?

    • Chris Crum

      It’s already getting to be that way. I don’t think things are going to be slowing down anytime soon.

    • http://www.simon-gideons.com patricia


  • Dragonsowl

    I’m not going to lie, its facebook. I’m a die hard google fan boy and i love all of there projects, but most of them never go mainstream, because they arn’t advertised enough/ and because most of the time they are to complacted (i.e. wave). Its a company of Engineers, to make this work they need to work more with social analysits and PEOPLE. :(

    Im rooting for you google, but like the redskins, you will probably fall just sort.

  • http://www.simon-gideons.com Patricia

    Well as for me Facebook is a dead loss and I don’t Know for the life of me what all the fuss is about. My videos and also my house for sale just sits there without comment while they talk about their pets. There maybe heavy traffic but all those who use it seem to be total losers wasting their time on the internet with nothing much going for them except the desire for small talk and maybe finding a playmate.
    Google just might be better but that remains to be seen.I hope so anyway.Don’t like facebook at all.

  • http://www.yeebaa.com Matt

    Hey Chris, talk about Facebook credits just beginning to gather momentum, they could soon be making a huge dent in online marketing too, also to be paid with credits gained and lost in FB? Who knows? We’ll enter into a Facebook world of finance, advertising, shopping… socialising.

    Scary thoughts? What is this need to share everything with everyone all the time? Digital voyeurism. Will there be a back-lash of complete privacy in the future? “She’s so mysterious, there is nothing about her on FB…” Lol

  • http://www.africatopforum.com perfect

    Well, let see how it goes, but I think Google has upper hand, although that doesn’t mean upper strategies.

  • http://saranelsondesign.com Kevin Cole

    I think it’s pretty well understood that the world is headed from the web as it is to phones as they are becoming, but it’s always greatt to see something stated well. I have no love for Zuckerberg but his observation that 1.3 Billion people use the web but everyone as a phone was the best I’ve seen it said so far. Thanks for including it. It may not be a revolutionary statement but the implications certainly are – and having that to quote will save me a LOT of time in conversations on the topic…

  • Che

    Social? GoogleMe? LOL. I don’t think Google is going to be anything but another bad joke of Altavista within the next 5 years. I’m starting to feel about Google like I felt about my ole nagging ex-wife who would fire her .45 at my feet so I could dance to her tune. I’m not even using Google anymore. Too much abuse, privacy violations and just plain bad news coming from them. For the record, I was a brainless, die hard big G. cheerleader for years. Google has become too arrogant and abusive.

  • Dav

    Facebook isn’t as strong everywhere as they seem to imply or other do.

    Sure, many people use it and will keep on using it fully, however almost everyone I know just visit Facebook these days to like 1-3 things or play their favorite game. Sometimes they post one status update per day, that doesn’t really feel like it is being used much.

    It is in my opinion that people are just waiting for something new to come and take over and be the new social network.

    I myself use Facebook only to play “Zynga Poker” with three of my friends and to see if any couple breaks up… no other news I get through facebook other than the rare status update such as “Going to Italy” “Liked this youtube video”

  • http://www.casinowrap.com PokiesLady

    I barely use Facebook but i use one or another Google services all the time though.

    I doubt there’s anything to compare. if Google had changed how search engines work and made everything much more user friendly and more accurate and set their own uniqueness ahead the rest with great available products to use.
    Well, Facebook on the other end, changed the way people waste their time. it’s all relative, of course :)

  • facebook

    I think Facebook is going to murder Google too !!

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