Facebook Messages – the end of email?
This week’s launch of Facebook Messages is an interesting new development in its battle with Google to rule the web. While Facebook is at pains to say Messages is not Facemail, the fact that users can all sign-up for @facebook.com email accounts paints a different picture. Analysts point to Messages hitting Google’s Gmail service – and even moving businesses off Microsoft Outlook.
What I find fascinating is that essentially this is a scrap between two generations of web company. A couple of years back the upstart web company Google used search as the driving force to take market share (and King of the Web title) from PC era giant Microsoft. Now Facebook is using its social media prowess to take a tilt at the incumbent. And in the same way that Microsoft has struggled to focus on delivering a decisive riposte to Google in its heartland of search, the tables are now turned – witness Google’s social media failure with Wave. Even the Queen is on Facebook now.
Who wins may well depend on what the future looks like – will we be living (and, importantly working) in a social networking universe or one that is based on search? And the real battle for these different views is going to be in the mobile space – US consumers increased time spent on their mobiles by 40 per cent in 2009, while online activities actually dropped. Given the success of Android, suddenly all those Facebook phone rumours begin to make a lot more sense. Watch this space as the battle develops……….
- Analysts weigh in on affect of FaceMail on Google, Yahoo, others (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
- Facebook’s New Front in Google Rivalry (online.wsj.com)
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