Facebook vs. Google
It is difficult to compare these two giants because they both serve very different purposes and both have revolutionized their respective industries. The question that has been prompted is actually a great means to discussing the differences in these companies, and how they impact the lives of their millions (and even billions) of users. Which one is bigger on a social scale? Facebook. Which one is bigger or more effective in advertising? Google. Here is why:
Facebook has become the definition of social media after topping MySpace in early 2010 (Hartung, 2011). Since then, it has grown to over a billion users who are logging on daily and spending a staggering amount of time on the website. Facebook has allowed users to connect with people they may not have otherwise had the opportunity or convenience to do so before. Particularly, in our text from Young, the month of December is mentioned as a busy time when people are connecting to friends and family on the site around the holidays (p. 13). Facebook in some cases has become the primary means for how we “know” some of our acquaintances; and while we are only aware of what is happening on their Facebook profile, we still consider ourselves knowledgeable about that person. THAT is the power of Facebook. We can go years without seeing family members or close friends, but because of Facebook, we still feel connected to them and knowledgeable about what is going on in their lives. Facebook has also become a marketing/advertising platform because it has created a venue for discussing products and services with people we know on a more social level.
However, Facebook will always be just that: social media. What Google has done with analytics and logistics is monumental and has forced business “to compare its conventional metrics with sophisticated internet data” (p. 10) by quantifying and categorizing the way people are using the internet. The reason Google is better for advertising is because compared to Facebook, they will always be closer to the actual point of sale than Facebook will ever be. Google has become the “search field” for the entire internet and is where many consumers start before making a purchase. While Facebook will always have a search option of its own and can do a great job of connecting potential consumers to products, it will always be social first. It’s like going to the beach and having someone bring you a flyer for a product. While that flyer may be something you are interested in and even something you may buy, it still had to interrupt your beach time in order to get exposure. Finally, the Google “package” is one that likely stands to pass the test of time compared to Facebook. Social media is so dynamic, and what’s “cool” today may not necessarily be cool tomorrow. Google on the other hand, has already hedged its bets with Android which is the largest mobile platform in the world (Etherington, 2013) and has unique opportunities of its own to create additional marketing ventures.
Etherington, D. (2013, August 07). Android nears 80% market share in global smartphone shipments, as ios and blackberry share slides, per idc. TechCrunch, Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/07/android-nears-80-market-share-in-global-smartphone-shipments-as-ios-and-blackberry-share-slides-per-idc/
Hartung, A. (2011, January 14). How facebook beat myspace. Forbes, Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2011/01/14/why-facebook-beat-myspace/