Interesting read in July 2009 Wired. This article describes a wall between GOOG and FB.
One thing that seems pretty obvious once you think abut it is that Google cannot index Facebook content. try looking someone from your past, that you have lost touch with via Google. The response “Fill in the blank is on Facebook. Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected.”
So you can tell that the person is on FB, but for some specific reason, GOOG’s spiders are not allowed to index the content inside the Facebook walls.
For whatever reason, peer pressure(?) people feel much more at ease sharing more personal and detailed info on FB than on other sites. Over time, this data and the continued sharing and linking of friends and their data, has made a cornucopia of data that can be sorted and monetized. But since the data is on FB’s servers and Google cannot index them for their own purposes, this in effect has built another internet behind a wall. The article states that 1/5 of the internet population has a Facebook account- 200 Million people!
The Wired article lists the 4 steps to Facebook world domination: 1. Build Critical Mass, 2. Redefine Search, 3. Colonize The Web, and 4. Sell Targeted Ads Everywhere. Sounds to me that FB is lining up (from the beginnning) in a face off with Google.
Google is threatened by a company that has yet to make a profit.
Especially tough this must be, since GOOG tried to invest and Facebook instead decided to take money from the Redmond Raptor (Microsoft) instead.
“It has a massive storehouse of user data, but every time it tries to capitalize on that information, its members freak out.” When Facebook tried to both rollout Beacon, an advertising news feed app or when they tried to alter their TOS, the Facebook denizens pushed back hard.
All of this data is clearly going in the direction of really getting Brand Advertisers online. Google has tried to get them there, but to this point, the majority of brand advertisers are happy to use the Google Search channel for their ad buys. Roughly global online brand advertising accounts for $50B, offline brand ads account for estimated $500B the article states.
The darkhorse in all of this is Twitter which is growing faster than FB. They have tried to buy Twitter, but have not been succesful, yet.