Could a Social Media Web site be a threat to the dominance of the Google Search Engine?
Facebook has introduced a new revolutionary shift in the evolution of the Internet with its announcement last week at the f8 developer conference of their soon-to-be-ubiquitous “Open Graph” initiative - a new form of “social links.”
The launch of this new platform allows Web sites to drive traffic from Facebook by including a "Like" or “Recommended” button on their pages. Facebook's Open Graph allows readers to like a topic or article, thereby sharing it with their Facebook friends and in some cases, creating a permanent link in their profile.
Will Like Replace Links?
It seems that the “Like” button could potentially become more popular than “Links” largely because the information shared is related to a specific user and carries with that their recommendation. According to Zuckerberg billions of "Like" buttons will shortly be scattered all over the web.
It is estimated that more than 50,000 Web sites have installed the new social plug-ins within the first week of the announcement. One of those companies, ABCNews.com, reported a 250% jump in Facebook referral traffic since adding the plug-in only a week ago. So overall the “Like” button seems to be great for creators of good content such as authors, publishers, top brands, etc. Good content can now be tagged, shared and indexed and the creators benefit from potentially a huge viral distribution.
Keeping them Honest
• The obvious concern is of course that Facebook becomes the gatekeeper of millions of people’s preferences…lots of very valuable information in the hands of one company. This is even a larger concern as Wired magazine reported that Zuckerberg stated he doesn't care about the privacy of Facebook users.
• Facebook has also made a very strategic move to become a very dominant “traffic cop” that directs and shapes a significant chunk of all web traffic.
• Google must be very concerned as this undermines their algorithm that uses links between sites to determine the order of their search results. If “Likes” becomes more popular than “Links” we could have a challenge for the leader board.
• Staying in the race Microsoft this week announced “Messenger Connect.” Their version of “Your Internet ID’” they claim with be all your social profiles rolled into one. Never count Gates and company out.
For now Facebook has clearly strengthened their position as the #1 social media network. As a matter of fact they are surging forward as one of the largest repositories of personal information in the world.
About the Author Nineteen-time author Stefan Swanepoel publishes the annual Swanepoel TRENDS Report and the annual Swanepoel SOCIAL MEDIA Report. His Reports are widely regarded as the leading research on the most important business and technology trends impacting the real estate industry. For more information visit www.RETrends.com and www.Swanepoel.com