In the blue corner, we have...
Over the past few years, Google and Facebook have being vying for the public's attention. With Google Plus placing Google firmly as Facebook's social rival, and Facebook's recent interest in acquiring drones putting them head-to-head with Google's balloons in the fight for control over airborne internet in the developing world, these two, once disparate giants, have grown so large as to now be encroaching on each-other's long-established territory. So where does their success lie? And can they both survive, or will one take home the gold?
Google are relatively old for the tech world, and at a full 16 years they have had plenty of time to master the market and build themselves into the giant that they are today.
As well as having time on their side, Google have developed a trust surrounding their brand that has allowed them to hold 71.81% global search engine market share (with this figure rising to 88.6% in the UK). It is hard to imagine an internet WITHOUT Google in fact. Where would we search for all the information we need about inbound marketing??
This gigantic search share is important for a bundle of reasons. When it comes to who brands want to please, the answer is nearly always Google. They have become the deciders in what content is good and what is bad, and have the ability to make a brand's content virtually un-findable. So it's position seems pretty stable.
But Google doesn't want to stop at search. With the (relatively) recent addition of Google Plus, they have branched out into the social world, realising that without a move to social they would be falling behind. Google Plus is often overlooked as a social platform, but with over 1 billion activated accounts, it is not something to be sniffed at.
Can it beat Facebook at it's own game? Only time will tell, but with a strong focus on communities and the chance for full integration across the web, it might just manage it.
- 1.23 billion active users per month
- 757 million daily active users
- An average of 4.7 billion items shared on Facebook per month
Facebook is to social what Google is to search. They gave us something we didn't even know we needed, and made it a central part of our day-to-day lives. The idea of waiting until we see a friend to tell them about a great story we just heard, or sending out invites via email or even snail mail just seems archaic. And it has only been 10 years!
As with Google, Facebook aren't quite finished with building their empire. Not contented with being the biggest social network, Facebook have looked at other ways to expand their reach. But isn't search Google's back yard? If Facebook and graph search gets their way, search will have a whole new social slant, where search will be personalised and made part of an individual's social commuity. Rather than just searching for "places to eat in Soho", it will be "Where have my friends eaten in Soho?".
With the acqusition of Whats App for $19 billion, and Instagram for the less expensive but still sizeable $1 billion, Facebook doesn't seem to be taking no for an answer. Buying up the competitors is definitely one way to look at holding their ground, but does this potentially open the way for Facebook to move further sideways in their offerings?
Google and Facebook have both certainly been flexing their muscles, but on a blow-by-blow basis they are both currentl still firmly seated in prime positions. But change is ever upon us, and with the ageing population of Facebook, an ever changing technological landscape, and our faces looking towards the East as China start to really push forward, things never stay in one place for long.
Google are now moving us towards driverless cars - a google car?? Facebook and Google are both up in the air for airborne internet access. It seems like something out of science fiction, but these two are always one step ahead, and we will always be second guessing what is next on the horizon.
Sophie Figgis is Inbound Marketer at Influence Agents, sniffing out the most innovative and extraordinary news and content available, presenting social media and inbound marketing at their very best.