Google vs. Facebook: What does it all mean?

October 24, 2008

It is well documented that Google and Facebook do not like each other. They can barely stand to be in the same room or at the same conference as one another. It’s a strange relationship.  It’s not like Yahoo and Google, which is like a sibling rivalry in one industry. These are two of the most powerful companies on the internet, both with clear aspirations for the future of the web, who fear each other just enough to make coexistence impossible.

Awhile ago I read an article in Time magazine about the future of the internet, and who will have control.  The three options: Apple, Facebook, and Google.  The reason: Each are in a position to expand their territory, have the money and ingenuity to make major moves, and each have a very different belief when it comes to what the internet is best used for. The article analyzed the good and bad aspects of all three, but did not take the time to address whether it is good or bad that there is that kind of battle for control.

Should the battle even exist?Let’s take a closer look at the war waging between Google and Facebook.  First, their underlying culture as it relates to the use of the internet are conflicting. Google believes in the freedom of information and the ease of which people can access it. Whereas Facebook holds sacred the anonymity of its users and closes its network to outsiders, including Google.

When Facebook wanted an advertising partner, they went to Microsoft, another company that is not too fond of Google. Open Social, the project Google started to make social networking more inclusive, did not extend the invitation to Facebook. There is a war brewing.

Let me know if you think that an internet where Facebook and Google hate each other is good or bad for the future of the web. Is it a pure case of competition being good for the consumer? Or is there an underlying negative aspect to these two powers going toe to toe? I will let you know what I think in my next post.