Internet Dominance was at the center of discussion at the 97th Social Media Breakfast. We are just two meetups away from the glorious 100th meetup, a long journey in setting up a discussion forum on Social Media in Delhi. From our bad experience at Cafe Coffee Day last week and their ‘policies’ about breakfast timings, we had to change the venue to Sagar Ratna on the last minute, they open early, always helpful and can accommodate large groups. The agenda was to discuss Facebook and Google from the perspective of developers, marketers and end users. Both internet giants are locked in a tussle to outgrow each other. Where do users spend more time on: Google or Facebook? The focus was to look at the view from 10,000 feet and see who’s winning this battle. From Social Network, Mobile, Display Ads to Search.
We agreed that internet dominance for any service or product would translate into the time users spend.. The more time a user spends on a given service, the more it helps the bottom line. Time is Money, haven’t we heard that before. First get them hooked, then find a way to monitize that potential. Facebook has done it, Twitter is beginning to do it and Pinterest is thinking about doing it. Over the last decade, the internet has evolved into many verticals, and different services compete for different spaces. We did a quick survey within the group to have the following results for who dominates which space:
- Search: Google
- Social Network: Facebook
- Mobile OS: iOS
- Productivity Suite: MS Office
- Video Sharing: YouTube
- Maps: Google Maps
- Online Communication: Skype
- Chatting: Tie (GTalk, Facebook, Skype)
- Games: Facebook
Mani Singh pointed out an interesting fact that the largest demographic of users these days on Facebook are aged 16-25 years, when a service figures out a way to tap into that segment, the numbers begin to grow.
Facebook Vs Google
It is reported that Facebook logs 700 billion minutes of usage per month, it surely has a high level of engagement which keeps the users coming back for more. This emerging trend has got Google concerned, since the one who rules the usage time, rules the game. Comparing it to Google’s own tools/products like Search, Gmail, Google Apps, YouTube and the new Google Plus, the usage time directs the revenue in the long term. We discussed and compared Facebook and Google’s products and here’s the result:
- Social Networks: Facebook rules here, Google Plus is turning to be a ghost town. (What do you think? Let us know in comments)
- Display Ads: Google’s Adwords is the leader in this segment, but Facebook Ads is fast catching up. Kaushik felt that Facebook’s display Ads are showing tremendous growth and offer better customization and targeting options.
- Mobile: Google’s got Android. There have been rumors of a Facebook phone but nothing concrete to mention. Facebook’s App on iOS and Android is a big hit though, drawing high engagement from users.
- Search: Google recently merged search plus social. The challenge for them is that their ‘Social’ isn’t catching on as fast as they hoped. Facebook on the other hand is strong in Social, What stops Facebook from launching search capabilities and drawing from its social expertise?
Towards the end, we concluded that the differentiator in this battle for Internet Dominance would be the revenue. Marketers prefer Google Ads when they want to sell, Facebook is viewed as a Brand enhancement option. Google drives way more revenue from its Search & Ads business. How Facebook would catch up and dominate in coming years would be interesting to see.