I came across an interesting article which talks about the next phase of the battle between the two giants of social networks and search. Both want to dominate how information is captured and shared. Robert Andrews makes the assertion that both Google and Facebook are working to attain similar goals, but using a very different approach.
Facebook and Google are each coming at the same social search prospect from opposite ends of the continuum—one a search site looking at learning relationships, the other a social network trying to upskill in search.
Andrew provides interesting perspective on Google’s long term plan.
Slowly, Google has been learning our social graph. One outcome has been the Social Search feature debuted in October – but this still feels experimental, rather than a final destination, and is only available to U.S. users.
For all the pounding it’s taken, Google Buzz is just one more expression of the graph Google has assembled – the input/output part. To me, Buzz was only ever intended as an inducement to populating that graph. The reasoning: if people are invited to aggregate all their lifestream outputs and to update all their social profiles from one place, they might see value in plugging their social identities in to Google Profiles (after all, how many Google users have ever bothered to create a Google Account?).
The more a search engine knows about you (and the people you know), the more relevant its results might be (and, perhaps, the higher its CPMs), because—the theory goes—we tend to trust personal recommendations.
The article ends with an interesting line: Google is no more a social network than Facebook is a search engine—perhaps even less so. But, while neither has yet cracked this nut, the game is long and the rewards ample.
What are your views on the big war? Which side are you on?