King of search vs King of social

King of search vs King of social – who will win the community insight arms race?

Google; the site that gives us what we want when we want it.

Search for pizza, you get pizza. 545 million lots of pizza to be almost exact. Starting from what Google thinks is relevant moving to the not so hot.
Search for a plumber in London, hey presto, you got plumbers.

And now Facebook wants to do exactly that – give us what we want, or at least what it thinks we want- but, its an educated guess, taught by you.

The difference is- Facebook is doing it socially, with your friends and the apps you interact with.

But is ‘educated guessing’ what Google has actually been doing for years? The answer is yes. Today Facebook announced that it is implementing a ‘content algorithm’ to deliver us content based on the people and things* we interact with, like and want to see. We can refine this by staring and hiding stuff we do and don’t want.

Google has gotten good at doing this by analysing data by the masses, who clicked what; did you come back for more search results, or was it content you found what you wanted? And they’re getting publically more personal – +1 etc.

Facebook is doing this for your friends.

It’s now tuning into our exact needs through the same data mining and clever insight that Google has used to deliver its search results, except it just got a whole load more personal.

Now as you’d expect, everything today is social.

– We arrange events (on Facebook)
– We post photos to Flickr, Instagram (and Facebook)
– We download voucher codes on VoucherCloud (and Facebook)
– We connect with brands (on Facebook)

So of course Google wants a bit of the action, and so it should, it’s simply where the world is going. Hello Google+.

Is Facebook rushing to react to Google+ by releasing lots of ideas?

My answer is probably not. Zuckerberg has had that look on his face that tells me this has been his vision from day dot- think back to the beacon days- data mining of your online habbits to deliver you ads and content.

You’ve seen the chaos Facebook has faced when they release tiny amendments, so in essence it looks like they’ve been drip feeding their massive user base (half a billion active daily users) where as Google has the joy of just simply dropping in and saying ‘hey’ look at us.

Who will win the community insight race? It’s too early to tell.

It’s the king of search (what you want when you want it) vs the king of social– and the boundaries are bluring.



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