Over the last 10 years, Google’s efforts at being the window to the web for hundreds of millions of users across the globe has turned it into a billion dollar company and of course a verb. Now the six-year-old social networking giant is making a bid for the crown.
At its developer conference in San Francisco called F8, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed the aims for the foreseeable future. A major, if not dominant, role in the future of the web which he said will be all about being social and using your friends to share and connect to a better quality of information which in turn will provide users with a better web experience.
During his keynote speech, Mr Zuckerberg announced a number of products to aide and abet that approach. They included an open graph protocol which lets partner sites leverage the user’s social connections to make the site more relevant to the individual and their social network. Then there is the “Like” button to let users rate that content by simply indicating they like something and letting their friends see that selection. Proof of the power of this tool will soon be provided given that Mr Zuckerberg said that he reckoned one billion “Likes” will be served up in 24 hours.
As Google focuses on making all the world’s information accessible and searchable and doing it better and faster than anyone else, Facebook clearly believes friends are the best way to find the most relevant information.
“In the past the web has been defined by hyperlinks linking to static content,” said Bret Taylor, head of Facebook Platform products. “We think social linking will have as big an impact on the web as hyperlinking did.”
At the moment Facebook has over 400m users, but a survey by Comscore said it is hurtling towards the 500m figure at something approaching breakneck speed.