Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Facebook Is Taking Over Google

Everyone knows that Facebook is unbelievably expanding and has become an integral part of our life. Still, everyone would say that Facebook is not even close to Google when it comes to dominance on the web. And with good reason; let's look at a few figures that show why everyone thinks like that: Google was launched in 1998, and Facebook was launched 6 years later. In 2010, Google had 24,400 employees while Facebook had close to 1700 employees. Google has a huge suite of products that target completely different needs: searching the web, email, video-sharing, advertising, operating systems, and much more. Facebook offers only one product upon which it develops: social networking. This proves why people tend to think that Facebook can never come close to the level of Google. Still, Facebook has been quietly stealing a lot of time that we would have otherwise spent on Google.
The obvious place to start is online searching. At first glance, one might think that Facebook definitely didn't steal any searching from Google. But wait a minute, don't you generally search for people on Facebook now? If you want to know more about a person, especially in your social circle, chances are you'll look for this person on Facebook. You get to search by the person's name, and while you might see several results, you can instantly point out what you want by looking at the person's location and, of course, the profile picture. You can then view a person's profile, look at all the information in a very structured way, and get to see what this person has been up to, from photos to statuses. This already shows the advantage that Facebook has over Google.
Moving on, you can add this person to your friend list, keep up-to-date with the person, and message them. Google doesn't come close to Facebook, which allows you to search and connect with people very naturally. The way to do it on Google is type a person's name, click on several links, try to find the person you meant looking for, and then spend some time looking for their email. Then, you login to your email, and send an email. Facebook allows you to message a person, not an inbox. You don't have to keep a contact list and update the static information. You don't have to remember an email. Just a name.
So Facebook stole searching when it comes to people. So what? There's a lot of other things we search for. Lady Gaga, perhaps? Incidentally, chances are you'll also be looking for popular figures on Facebook! You might not have noticed it, but you have been searching for a lot of things other than just people: celebrities, activities, places. You search for Lady Gaga on Facebook, you view the fan page, you see direct updates of what's been going on, check all the music videos, and you can also have a say! The introduction of Facebook pages made Facebook gather correct data from the source itself. Everything is very well organized, and pages all look the same. Moreover, you can virtually like the page, and in that way you have naturally bookmarked a figure you want to constantly know about. Comparing this to Google is pointless, the idea should be obvious.
Activities that one might have done on Google are increasingly being done on Facebook. Apart from people, celebrities, and figures, people are searching Facebook for events. They can know the latest updates, and even reserve for the event. People are searching for brands and telling everyone what brands they like. People are messaging people on Facebook instead of emailing an address on Gmail. People are watching music videos directly on the fan page instead of searching for the video on YouTube. Places are interested in having a Facebook Page instead of hosting a website over at Google App Engine. Are you seeing where this is going?
Facebook has a huge advantage over Google. A lot of effort is done on Google's part to get information. Google has to browse the whole web, index pages, and devise algorithms to best understand what a user means in a search query and in relation to the indexed pages. Facebook, however, has the content organized in fields that have been submitted by the sources themselves, and are constantly being updated. This allows very natural and organic searching on Facebook, where one is generally searching for the title of a page, be it a person, a brand, or an event. Also, Facebook presents information in a way that's much more appealing than what Google shows. Of course, there are things that you just can't do on Facebook, especially when you're researching. Facebook is not replacing Google, but in terms of dominance, it sure is close. Or ahead already.

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