Google has been king of the internet searching for several years now leaving competitors, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask in the dust. With 70% percentage internet searchers using Google, it is been considered the most widely used internet application, that is until now. In the last 3 years a new world leader has emerged from the pack, Facebook.
The launch of social websites like Facebook and MySpace created a new way for savvy internet users interact with each other. Long past are the days of snail mail and rolodexes to keep up with your network, now people utilize online networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. TheFacebook.com started out as an exclusive college network and turned into “The Social Network” with over 500 million users joining over 620 million groups and using over 500 million applications. According to Internet World Stats, that’s 25% of the world’s internet users!
Since its creation in 2004 facebook has been increasing its market share of the entire world at a massive pace growing its user base by more than 20% a year with no signs of slowing down. The company is expanding its reach with applications such as facebook connect which enables facebook users to logon to third-party websites with their facebook profile.
As the internet becomes more social and facebook continues connecting every part of your internet experience playing your games, posting your thoughts, connecting with friends, signing-into other websites – facebook connect, sharing news links, sharing video links, and buying things – facebook market place. It only makes sense that facebook’s next venture to expand their services into internet searching.
Currently, facebook uses a search function limited to facebook.com materials and is only used when looking for events, people, groups, or items currently located/posted on facebook. The facebook search covers 7 of the top 10 reasons people use the internet so why not go after number one, searching for information?
Let’s face it, google has a 70% market share for online searches and that isn’t going to roll over with their innovative strategies for searching and consumer retention combined with the number of additional free services. But if facebook search implemented an effective and fully functional search application, with 150 million users on their website a day with a 25% usage rate, they would capture ~2.5% daily visit share surpassing the smaller search engines in usage rankings. This could be done with a few months of planning and a snap of Mark Zuckerbergs fingers considering they make an estimated billion dollars a year and just received 1.5 billion dollars from investors.
As the jockeying for internet traffic continues, the scales are tipping toward facebook as the internet interaction becomes more social oriented. The question: Does facebook want to wage a war against the biggest internet company of the last decade? Something tells me by looking at the events surrounding Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to power, he isn’t afraid to step on any toes. I could see facebook’s first shots in 2012 as this would coincide with their interest in going public. An announcement of releasing “facebook search” prior to their IPO would likely catapult their stock prices through the roof.
The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Bluereach.