Facebook is the largest social network in the world with over a billion active users and Google has monopolized the search engine world with over 67% of the market share. It comes as no surprise that these two companies do not talk of each other in glowing terms. The rivalry between these two companies began when Facebook decided to form a close partnership with Google’s competitor – Microsoft, with Microsoft having a 1.6% stake in Facebook. Till last year, the acrimonious relationship between Facebook and Google was only speculated upon by Internet users and fuelled by social media reporters as both sides decided to remain quiet on the issue.
The Facebook/Google saga
All this ended recently when Larry Page – co-founder and CEO of Google – slammed Facebook about the way it was handling and marketing products and the fact that the social network giant is not too forthcoming with data. Google has also started invading the space that Facebook is successful in with the launch of Google plus. Although Google plus failed to make an initial dent in the number of Facebook user, the Google plus user base is growing quite rapidly and is considered by many social media experts to be more professional and more private that Facebook.
In a fitting answer, Facebook has decided to put more effort into search and has decided to partner with Microsoft’s Bing to improve its search function. Facebook has named its new search feature “the Graph Search”, which allows users to search for information related to other users within Facebook like photos, updates, likes, etc. For all other search queries, Bing provides the search results. Although the Graph Search feature is still in its Beta testing stage, it has the potential of causing serious harm to the popularity of the Google search engine. In the near future, all Facebook users will be able to conduct searches for information on the web directly from the social network and get search results only from Bing.
Page downplayed the impact that Graph Search could have on Google at Google’s latest earnings call saying that Google has been in the search engine business far longer than Facebook has and that it has solid investments in this field.
Mark Zuckerberg speaks out
Facebook even has a great relationship with Google’s rival in the mobile platform industry – Apple Inc. At the latest Facebook earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg spoke highly of Apple and Facebook’s integration with the iOS 6 platform. At the same earnings call Zuckerberg finally admitted to the testy relationship between the two companies. According to him, both companies have a relationship where neither has any meaningful communication with the other.
Given that this is much milder than the words Page directed at Facebook, it is proof that we can expect more attacks in the future. Even though these companies downplay their rivalry, each continues to release products that invade the space of the other. This is good news for us Internet users as we can expect increased competition and some top-quality products from both companies.