Gaurav Pandey

Home » Strategy and Insights » Facebook’s Graph Search and Google+ for Social: Does One Have to Prevail?

Facebook’s Graph Search and Google+ for Social: Does One Have to Prevail?

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Facebook and Google have been seen as separate online necessities for quite some time, but it seems as though both companies are beginning to close that g

Gaurav Pandey‘s insight:

So we hear Facebook and Google are moving ever closer to each other in the battle of who gets to wear the “search + social’’ crown.  Both companies face challenges, Google would love to have a pie of Facebook’s ginormous database on people, whereas what would Facebook not give for Google’s eco-system, especially search capabilities.

The truth is it’s unlikely Facebook would ever be able to do what Google can and vice-versa. Even if Facebook’s Graph Search (which is in beta phase at the moment) takes off big time and becomes the go to place for social search – which it indeed can and probably will – it will remain just that, a social search engine. Now, in an ideal world where no one has a care and all everyone wants to do is hang out with friends and find new friends with similar tastes and be genuinely interested in the lives of others, Graph Search is Godsend.  But, how likely is that!

So people are going to continue see Google as their saviour. Be it an academic search, news, forums, how stuff works or whatever else one wants to know about, they’ll go to Google.  Even if a competitor does arrive on the scene – and that is very unlikely – it will take some doing to wean them off Google because of the impact Google has had in our lives over the last decade or so.

However, with all the advancement in technology that we are seeing Facebook’s Graph Search can’t be a bad news. Yes, there have been concerns about privacy, both genuine and irrational, but it was a long time coming.  Facebook has been preparing us in a way.

Public is the new default setting, with a choice to make your stuff private – if there’s such a thing in the cloud – and not the other way round.  I have been saying this, and I reiterate, it’s foolish to even think of privacy in this day and age. Facebook’s been taking baby steps before people’s anxieties are eventually swallowed by cloud realities.

Therefore the new technologies driving these developments excite me. One is natural language processing which we got introduced to through Siri. Another important development is direct results which Graph Search will give us, unlike Google where you had to sift through results to get to where you wanted to go. Graph Search will give you instant results because FB data is categorised with individuals acting as filters and therefore the results will be quicker as it’s much easier narrow the search down.  

All said, at the end of the day the average user doesn’t own Facebook or Google.  If you think you are living in exciting times, don’t forget it’s all fuelled by your data. At the end of the day, it’s how much as a people we are willing to reveal about ourselves. Surely, the times are changing.

On a philosophical note, hasn’t that always been the case. Let me quote Dickens here so you know what I mean: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.” That was 19th century; everything is eerily similar even today. 

Do you agree or have I digressed? Please comment. 

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