So far this week, we’ve wondered if Google cares about social, after an analyst said that Google is ignoring social search because they’re jealous of social networks. But now they may have something new to fear from Facebook, the most popular social network worldwide: imminent death.
Or at least that’s what Henry Blodget says after a presentation by Ross Sandler of RBC. Although Facebook’s traffic to Google has more than doubled in the last year (19% of Google sessions come from FB, up from 9% last year), Facebook’s worldwide traffic is growing at
It’s the end of the world as we search marketers know it! It’s like when the hula hoop came out, everyone immediately stopped drinking Kool-Aid—and just look where the powdered soft drink industry is now!
(What? You can still buy Kool-Aid, Tang and generic products at every grocery store on the planet? Oh…)
I know it’s really easy to forget this sometimes, but Google and Facebook are two different things. For now, as Sandler rightly points out, they even complement one another. And even if Facebook becomes every single person on earth’s start page, somehow I don’t think that’s going to sound a death knell for Google. (Or is it really difficult to remember to type in “Google.com” in the address bar? Oh, wait, nm—I guess it is.)
As I’ve said more than once over the past couple weeks, we have to remember that social and search simply aren’t the same thing. They may have some big overlap: sometimes, yes, it’s better to rely on actual humans whose judgment you trust when you’re searching for something. But by and large, social and search serve two different purposes. I don’t expect Google to tell me what my 200 closest friends are doing right now, and I don’t expect Facebook to find me the time of sunset for March 13, 2010 in Chicago.
What do you think? Even assuming Facebook can sustain its growth, can Facebook “kill” Google?
Most of us would be happy in this economy for any growth that occurred between Feb of 2008 and Feb of 2009. 10 percent would be fine. 50% would be amazing. 100% growth gets you rock star status. So if you are Twitter and Nielsen gave you the news that your subscriber base grew 1,392% in that period you may need to change your shorts. Ok, so maybe thatâ€™s a little too graphic but that is a pretty ridiculous number even if you donâ€™t make one red cent while doing it (had to throw that in there;-)).
From a report on cnet, here are the results of the Top 5 fastest growing, as Niel
As with most data there may be questions raised. For instance a common number thrown around about how many Facebook users there are is 175 million but in the US it apparently is 65 million. You donâ€™t see that number quite as often although it is still impressive. The members of the top 5 are quite a bit smaller than even Twitter and 2 of them are not even social media sites. Thatâ€™s just minor stuff though.
One area I would like to see more detail on is the age ranges that Twitter has their greatest success. I was admittedly surprised at Twitterâ€™s claim that the largest user group of Twitter is aged 34-49. That would appear to be at least an indication that the reason for Twitterâ€™s success is business related. No evidence of that one just an educated guess.
The other element of growth that is making Twitter investors twiddy (thatâ€™s giddy in Twitter speak) is the use of mobile phones and devices to access the application. 735,000 unique visitors did so in January of this year. In addition, on just AT&T and Verizon alone there were 812,000 users accessing Twitter via text message.
While some people have even said that Twitter has jumped the shark it appears that even if they did there are a lot people following them despite that prediction. What will happen over the next year is going to be interesting to watch when you consider that even the mighty Facebook has made recent changes that have tipped a hat to the Twitter model. Since imitation is the greatest form of flattery that should be enough to motivate Twitter to have another year of quadruple digit growth. Tweet that!
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Some people just don’t know when to give up. It’s almost sad, really, watching them doggedly pursue something or someone past the point of all reason. And sometimes CEOs are just like that, y’know? Take Steve Ballmer or Philippe Dauman, for example. Months—years—after beginning one of those things that might have “seemed like a good idea at the time,” they’re still pushing that boulder up the hill.
Philippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom, faces such a Sisyphean task in his lawsuit against Google. First filed just over two years ago, th
Dauman reports to Business Week (as covered by All Things D) that the billion-dollar lawsuit is still in its discovery phase. (That’s the pretrial part where you collect evidence, in case you’re not familiar with it.)
Dauman assures us that there will be “a resolution.” In case you were wondering. (I guess he means this isn’t all just going to fade away like a bad dream.) Meanwhile, Dauman’s son really enjoys working for Google.
Steve Ballmer, if you haven’t guessed it already, is still holding out for a hero deal with Yahoo. Yes, looks like it’s time for the monthly update from Steve—can’t you just picture him phoning Bartz at home? She checks the caller ID, sees it’s him, lets it go to voice mail.
Ballmer takes a deep breath when the line connects, but sighs when he hears the now-familiar greeting. “Hi, this is Carol. Tell me why I shouldn’t fire you after the beep!”
“Hi Carol.” He rubs a sweaty palm against his jeans. “It’s me, Steve. Just . . . calling to let you know . . . if you ever wanted to do something . . . you know . . . I’m still up for it. kthxbai.” And Steve returns to execrating himself, this time for reverting into lolspeak on the phone. Think he can call back and erase that last message to try again?
Okay, so that’s not really what he would say. All Thing D (again) reports that he’s totally chill about the sitch (that’s “sitch,” short for “situation,” not a typo where I meant some other word):
Principles first: “Whether or not there’s a partnership to be had with Yahoo, we think our own innovationâ€¦ it’s not about Yahoo’s technology. It’s really about getting the pooled volume, because you actually can improve your product faster if you have more users.” If you have more advertisers, you can improve the product as well. “There are returns to scale. And putting the scale together is valuable.
“With that as context, we’re largely on the same strategy, with or without a partnership with Yahoo.” I’ve talked with Carol briefly, over the phone. “I’m sure when it’s appropriate, we’ll have a chance to sit down and talk.” I’ve known her for years. She’s straightforward and friendly “and when she’s ready, we’ll have that type of discussion. Whether a deal gets done or not, who knows.” People at our two companies talk all the time.
Like I said, totally chill. And he didn’t follow that with “So, um, Carol, if you’re out there, in case you lost my number, it’s . . .” (but don’t you think he wanted to?).
So, who’s getting more desperate—Viacom or Microsoft?
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