Recently, Facebook announced a new email system that would put them in direct competition to webmail platforms such as Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL Mail. While Facebook had been long viewed as a threat to Google, they had thus far not been in direct competition. The launch of the new email system puts Facebook directly in competition with Google’s Gmail and may be a sign of many future battles. The following are a list of some of the battlegrounds that Google and Facebook may battle on in the future.
“Facebook Email” vs Gmail
This first one is obvious, with the announcement of Facebook’s new email system (or “messaging system” as they prefer to call it), it has the potential to take away serious traffic from Gmail, directly affecting Google’s traffic and ability to gather advertising revenue and advertising data.
“Facebook Phone” vs Android
While Facebook is not yet currently working on a mobile operating system, it is confirmed that Facebook is working on a mobile platform, something that perhaps works on top of Android. It’s not a direct attack against Google at the moment, but if developers begin programming to a Facebook interface instead of Google interface, it will again hit Google’s ability to gather information and data.
“Facebook Search” vs Google Search
Facebook is currently not competing in search, however they hold a significant amount of data that can allow search to be more effective. The data from your social network, such as articles and videos that are “Liked”, can be key to finding the best search results for you. Recently, Facebook announced a deal with Microsoft and Bing to improve Bing search results for individual users based on that data. In time, it could help Bing chip away search market share from Google.
Later on, it will be interesting to see if Facebook enters the search war as well to compete directly with Google and Bing. With so much data in its hands and a large audience, they could make a significant move into that space.
“Facebook Video” vs YouTube
Facebook already allows users to upload videos to share with friends. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine Facebook slowly offering up a mechanism to post external links to these videos, giving YouTube a direct challenge on sharing videos online.
With Facebook having not even IPOed yet, we can only speculate on future plans. As they begin to grow and build their cash reserves, one can imagine the other battles that might take place in the future. With Facebook “Places”, Facebook has already established a beachhead for a possible map or location based service. With such strong social networking already in place, Facebook might be able to develop document sharing platforms that would be far more compelling to use than Google Docs. It will be interesting to see what battles ensue in the future.
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Jay Yarow, “Facebook Unveils Its New Messaging System”, BusinessInsider
Dan Frommer, “Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why Facebook Is Working On Phone Software: To Be A Platform, Not Just A Service”, BusinessInsider
Anthony Ha, “Bing and Facebook try to crack social search”, Venturebeat