Who will take over the world first: Facebook or Google? Both of these social media giants have been encroaching on the others’ turf for quite a while now. It’s inevitable that eventually one will continue to grow until it consumes everything in its path like The Blob. Google made the first attempt at social media integration with Google+. When you sign into Gmail, you are signed in to everything Google owns. Facebook is looking to do something similar, but different.
Facebook Plays Catch-Up
Facebook Graph Search is Facebook’s first move as it seeks to gain some ground on Google’s search engine domination. Graph Search’s big selling point is that it will give two people different search results even if they search for the same thing. Search results are tailored to you. Facebook has, until now, been about connecting with friends online and sharing things. With Facebook’s ambition for social media integration beginning to manifest itself, all that is going to change.
In real world terms, Facebook is the guy at the bar who’s happy to hang-out with the same four friends until he dies because he wasn’t bothered to meet new people. All the while, Twitter and Google were living it up, back-packing around Europe and meeting funky Dutch girls called Erika.
What’s It All About?
Facebook wants to be a place where you can discover new things – bands, movies, restaurants or even dentists. You can search for what your friends like and because you presumably have similar interests to them, you’ll discover something that you like too. Of course this also means that you’ll discover new people. Friends of friends that you never knew existed may also be big fans of spelunking (for some reason Facebook seems to think we’re all super-active), so you get talking to them and a friendship grows. Soon you’re going out spelunking together and the whole world seems like a brighter place thanks to Facebook.
I know what you’re thinking. This all sounds like a Facebook stalkers dream, doesn’t it? Well, you’d be right. Imagine, instead of having to trawl through album after album of photos, you could just do a simple Facebook Graph Search and creep to your heart’s content.
Social Media Integration Ambition
Of course Facebook’s ambition for Graph Search goes beyond simple creeping. It’s much greater than that. The ultimate ambition is for Facebook to become the online resource to challenge Google. The endgame for Facebook is that one day, when people go online and they log in to Facebook, they never have to log out. Complete social media integration; everything people need online is there. Graph Search combines the two things that Facebook doesn’t have that arguably its competitors do; the ability to find new things and meet new people.
Businesses Need To Get On Board
The commercial possibilities of Graph Search also cannot be underestimated. Just as businesses crave that position at the top of the Google search results tree, they will soon covet being a top result on Facebook Graph Search. And with the massive numbers of dedicated users Facebook has, any business that doesn’t attempt to avail of this opportunity will be making a big mistake. Just as many businesses missed the boat when it came to capitalizing on online revenue streams, businesses will suffer if they don’t value their exposure on Facebook.
The ways in which marketers can leverage Graph Search in their favour will also be interesting to see. Any time something new comes along, people are never entirely sure what to make of it. The potential for Graph Search is huge, but it’s how to best use it that will become the big question in the coming months.
This is just the latest offensive in the war between Google and Facebook for total social media integration. It’s just a question of who will get there first.
Post by: Conor Sharkey