Facebook Has Google Sweating


Don't ask me why (wasn't because of this article exactly), but I joined Facebook even though I feel much older than their target demographic (much, much older). The social networks are akin to a great Alaskan gold rush: much more hype than usefulness. I did find a buddy from high school days though (one not called Beth), so I suppose Facebook is good for something.

Advertising Age - Digital - 23-Year-Old Mark Zuckerberg Has Google Sweating:

What's the only company that scares Google? Facebook.

Just as Google has become what some people call the operating system for search, Facebook is turning itself into the operating system for social networking. While Google knows what millions of people are searching for, Facebook has something the search giant hasn't been able to grow: a network of connections between people that creates a viral distribution platform unrivaled by any portal or search engine.

Mr. Zuckerberg has shunned acquisition approaches (including a $1 billion bid from Yahoo) and counts Microsoft's Ray Ozzie and the Washington Post's Don Graham as friends and mentors. Many believe the future of Facebook could include an IPO and that remaining independent was key to Mr. Zuckerberg's ability to execute his vision.

At the core of Mr. Zuckerberg's message is what he calls the “social graph,” or the connections people create on the site. Those connections can be used to improve typical web services such as shopping or searching for product recommendations.

Owen Van Natta, Facebook's chief operating officer, said a visit to Amazon.com will uncover all the product recommendations one might want but the value can be limited in the anonymity of the people posting the reviews. On the other hand, if you take your online activities and put them through the filter of the people you know well, those actions take on greater meaning.
Adds Mike Murphy, senior VP-sales: “In order to get great applications built, we needed to make sure developers could be rewarded and have a business model around it.” He said with 29 million users, there's plenty of inventory for him to sell and that he envisions the better the applications are, the more time people will spend on the site and the more he can sell to marketers.

Few marketers have launched applications within Facebook, mostly because Facebook isn't encouraging that -- “unless they really understand how to build something useful for users, not just put up a brand,” said a spokesman.

In the 30 days since Facebook opened up its platform to developers on May 24, more than 10 applications had at least 1 million users and more than 400 had 1,000 users.

To be sure, it's early -- five weeks in. And for all the blustering, there are doubters. Some developers have questioned Facebook's commitment to keeping its APIs free and open and others suggest the instant success can be enough to topple all but the most well-funded developers since Facebook places the burden of serving traffic on the developers. The music application iLike, for example, was almost done in by its success when it logged more than 50,000 users within hours of launch.

and for neophyte Facebookers like myself, here's what the lingo means:

Ad Age's Facebook addict Andrew Hampp decodes the native tongue.

Poke: The most nonsensical of all FaceBook functions, the “poke” feature allows you to essentially do just what it implies: “poke” your friend's profile, giving him or her the option to poke back. It's the social-networking equivalent to passing someone a note in algebra class.

The Wall: Think of it as a yearbook you can sign 24/7. Friends can use it to recap the previous night's events (“OMG! I still have your keys from Amanda's party! LOL!”), schedule get-togethers (“Lunch with the crew on Saturday? Hit me up!”) or carry on entire conversations that would normally be conducted through phones, e-mail or, at the very least, text messages.

Tag: A feature that allows you to identify friends in photos. Can become a college grad's worst nightmare when it comes time for the ever-crucial job search. “You totally detagged that picture of me bonging that box of Franzia last summer, right? I don't want my future boss to think I'm a total wino!”

Minifeed: It's like any other RSS feed, only instead of breaking updates on the war in Iraq, it's streaming bulletins about your friends' latest likes and dislikes. Sample minifeed: “8:41 p.m. -- Ashley added Fall Out Boy to her Favorite Music. 10:01 p.m. -- Dave removed 'Old School' from his Favorite Movies.” It can also serve as a passive-aggressive kiss-off to an ex-flame. “2:41 a.m. -- John and Sarah are no longer in a relationship.”

See what I mean about the target age group? Well, at least there won't be a Seth Anderson imposter.

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lol no one makes google sweat not even zooped.com

Gads, Seth! Am I in Facebook?

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on July 10, 2007 9:55 AM.

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