Facebook is challenging Google’s supremacy on the Internet with a radically different approach to how people live, work, play and search online. Its founder Mark Zuckerberg refers to it as the “social graph”.
“I think what we’ve found is that when you can use products with your friends and your family and the people you care about they tend to be more engaging,” he told CBS 60 Minutes.
“The social graph is incredibly broad,” said Wedbush Securities social media analyst Lou Kerner, picking up on Zuckerberg’s favourite phrase. “It includes not only what you do and what you like but people you know, what they like, companies you interact with.”
“The idea is you do not want to fight Facebook, you want to embrace Facebook, leverage Facebook, because this is where people are.”
Facebook’s growth is not necessarily a bad thing for Google, which has been coming under scrutiny from anti-trust authorities in both the US and Europe.
According to online tracking firm comScore, Google receives more monthly visitors than Facebook but visitors to Facebook spend more time at the site than they do on Google properties.
Since this spring, Facebook has been rolling out features which put it on a collision course with Google — a @facebook.com email service which competes with Google’s Gmail and “Facebook Questions,” a search engine of sorts which lets Facebook members ask questions and get answers from other members.