Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Google vs. Facebook Isn't The Biggest Battle About To Unfold

It seems like everyone is looking at two recent numbers out there in the land of tech jaw-droppers – Facebook surpassing Google in traffic and the social network’s recent $50B+ valuation. Big news. But what’s funny is these numbers are also driving the focus on the ensuing battle between the two tech giants, yet no one seems to be looking at the jockeying Google is quietly doing on the sidelines, like they’re using Mark Zuckerberg’s monolithic leap into the limelight as a decoy to take the pole position in the exploding world of mobile and tablet devices and the ensuing intersection of geolocation and entertainment.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fair to say that both Google and Facebook want it all. And it’s possible they could get it. After all, Facebook Places holds a ton of promise, but don’t expect a Facebook phone or OS to hit the streets anytime soon.

And to make things all the juicier, there’s another little company who lusts after consumer domination and has rode the hype train since the advent of the music download, and it starting to lose its edge – yes, Apple.

Recent events lead me to believe that Google is laying formidable groundwork for control of what will undoubtedly be the biggest, most effective, most accountable, most powerful ad platform humans will experience for the next two decades – and for our sake let’s just call it wireless. It’s the land of paper thin tablets, smart phones, wearables, auto systems, home appliances and whatever else they build on top of the Android OS.

Google’s gracious ‘gift’ of millions of free books on top of a device-agnostic platform, Android handset sales flying past iPhones, and some recent insider information I personally know about where very seasoned, very smart, senior people from the music industry have recently joined the big G, tells me there’s music subscriptions, monster digital eReader libraries and video anywhere coming, all neatly baked into the Android OS and residing on the Google cloud.

My guess is Google could care less about the traffic numbers. They are still killing search, with Microsoft’s Bing barely making a dent in their domination and they’re sitting on mountains of cash. And with these little media and entertainment hobbies – books, music and don’t forget they own a little web site called YouTube, folks and a flexible, wireless OS that’s on a major roll and hardware to boot, I don’t think Google has to worry about Facebook’s sub-$1 cpm ad revenue – they’re going to be frying much bigger fish…er…Apples.

Call me crazy but I think Apple’s days are numbered, but then again Mr. Jobs has been known have some pretty amazing tricks up his sleeve. All I can say is, Mr. Jobs, it’s twenty-freaking-eleven, and I know it’s not Apple’s business, but where are our flying freakin’ iCars?

Guy Borgford
VP Strategy, FGI.com

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guy, I loved this blog. I think you are spot on about Google's quiet preparation for mobile and geographic domination. Nobody else has the over-reaching resources they have at their disposal.

    Excellent blog and best of all, it made me laugh.