With the launch of Google+ and 'Search, Plus Your World' it's clear that Google wants a piece of Facebook's pie. More and more they're trying to get people into the Google+ world; whether it's by adding more features to lure people in or simply by forcing new Google accounts to have a Google+ account as standard. They must be doing something right because the internet is awash with articles on the meteoric rise of their users, most recently reporting 170 million users in April this year. But Facebook's numbers almost dwarf Google's by comparison with 845 million Facebook users. And Google wants a piece of that pie but people aren't willing to make the switch.
Facebook and Your Data
It's not going too far to say that Google hates Facebook. Facebook has a wealth of data that Google just can't get hold of. It knows your friends, your likes, your contact info, where you went on holiday and even your star sign. With that sort of data Google could highly optimise your search results to be specific to you down to the smallest detail. And that's why Google+ wants to be Facebook and also why Facebook is such a potential threat.
Is Facebook the Future?
Without some drastic event or company merger, it's reasonable to assume that Facebook isn't going anywhere anytime soon. This means that that personal data will be out of Google's grasp unless they can make Google+ so staggeringly amazing (and/or essential) that you can't not use it.
So perhaps it's reasonable to assume that Facebook is a threat to Google. If they made the move into a search engine (internally or externally) or even into the external pay per click advertising arena they could seriously hurt Google with a whole wealth of 'social' search at user's fingertips.
We'd say it would be a sensible plan to keep an eye on Facebook and if you haven't already, you should probably give some thought to a social strategy on the massive social network that holds that goldmine of user data.