Weekend Wars: Facebook vs. Google

Greetings fight fans. From the hallowed halls of the coming Social Media Boom we have the main event. The one for all the marbles. The one that will compensate for all the lackluster pay-per-view events and third tier fights we have witnessed in recent memory.

The two giants of the online world have been on an inevitable collision course. Not since Hulk Hogan versus Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III have I so looked forward to a staged battle between two products of hype, advertising and massive profits.

And So it Begins...


Earlier this week an anti-Google campaign was launched, soon after it came to light that it was the doing of Facebook.

Google launches sweeping violation of user privacy!



Though the PR campaign was spearheaded by Burson-Marsteller, it was Zuck dollars that powered the push. As simple as these little words may seem, they are the online equivalent of a declaration of war. A not so subtle implication that you have dipped into our pockets and now we seek to dip into yours. The no-longer-so-stealth campaign alleged that Google is using a little known Gmail feature called Social Circles to:

scrape and mine social sites from around the web ... and share that information without users' knowledge or consent

Naturally, Facebook played the denial game and the whole tale will be swept under the rub promptly. At the World Economic Forum in January, ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt downplayed Google's worries about Facebook. He pointed to Microsoft as the real concern. Facebook's sea of data on personal relationships and information, however, makes this claim a falicy...even if an unintentional one. Google has been looking to reach into the social space with products such as last year's failed Buzz. The Social Circles venture seeks to track paths connecting Gmail users through outside networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

All of this makes me wonder what Microsoft thinks about the whole thing. I can't help but to recall the Simpsons episode when Bill Gates walks into the Simpson house and with the help of a few Microsoft thugs breaks Homer's pencils and trashes his home office set up.

It has been a long while since there were so many real deal heavyweights going head on in business. Google and Facebook have both been tabbed to be the industry giants of the coming decades, in fact...they already are. Wouldn't it be something if one of these no longer existed in a few years due to buyout by or simple destruction by the other?

What do you guys think? If you had to put money on a head-to-head fight who would you bet on and why? I haven't been this excited for a scrap since Hagler and Hearns...I hope it happens.

Comments (7)

May 15, 2011

"swept under the rub promptly. " *rug.

Facebook is still an upstart next to google - they can certainly learn a lot from google but I don't believe that the facebook model is hard to replicate. It's all about userbase and I personally see the internet social experience becoming even more centralized and google has a better shot at capturing that. Youtube + all the google software + mobile market + Chrome OS... list goes on.

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.

May 15, 2011

Only about three years ago, the same thing was happening in investment banking. The prize was the assets of the recently-bankrupt Lehman Brothers. The two rivals going head-to-head were Barclays and JP Morgan. And lo and behold, the scrappy underdog Barclays managed to acquire all the "good" assets Lehman left behind while JP Morgan was forced to eat the cost of the rest. The deal launched Barclays into the big leagues and resulted in a $2 billion profit.

Even Google and Microsoft have their limits; all you have to do is look at what happened between them and China with the censored searches and trying to reroute their servers through Hong Kong.

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

May 15, 2011

Well played sir.

Still not sure if I want to spend the next 30+ years grinding away in corporate finance and the WSO dream chase or look to have enough passive income to live simply and work minimally.

May 15, 2011

Facebook doesn't belong to any sentence that contains Google or Microsoft.

May 15, 2011

Both are great companies, and I think the reason why they are compared to each other is because they are the go-to-site for social networking and search. While they both profit from advertising, their models are completely different. An individual can log onto facebook and choose to be a very active member of the online community, providing facebook with mounds of information, or they can get an account, wish a few people happy birthday, and be done with it. But everyone needs to do searches on the internet, and 80% of them go to google.

If there is going to be a war of badmouthing, I think facebook has more to lose because people "trust" them with their photos and personal interests. In a few clicks they can make all of that info go away. But they will still look for a search engine to do all of those searches, a site to look at idiotic videos, and an email service that is user friendly.

May 16, 2011
wannabeaballer:

If there is going to be a war of badmouthing, I think facebook has more to lose because people "trust" them with their photos and personal interests.

Agree: we already knew that you can't trust google because any moron can do a search.

wannabeaballer:

In a few clicks they can make all of that info go away.

And I did: after reading about Zuck's PR skullduggery, I pulled the last bits of personal info off of my page.

I'm going with google 3 to1 based solely on my distaste for Zuck's sanctimonious hypocrisy. Both companies are making a giant pile of money, why not go after more? Personally, I still fail to see why they necessarily HAVE TO compete: am I missing something?

May 16, 2011
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