All this hubbub about Facebook’s IPO has veered the discussion away from Google’s Takeover Play. Look at the graphic above. These are the ways that I am embedded with Google.
Tomorrow I could do business without Facebook and I’d hardly notice the bump. We would all figure out other social sites to connect on: sites with better privacy, less idiotic advertising panic, and perhaps (most likely) a better experience. Of course, that day has not arrived. Facebook will thrash and survive under the new shareholder demands of “PROFIT OR DIE.” But it may not be pretty.
My belief is we are watching Facebook attempt and define “social media” for us, while Google is in action defining social applications and social systems. Tomorrow if Google had a major outage I would be effectively out of business. I rely on Google for a good portion of my lifeblood. Today I only THREE systems: 1. MS Office (only because clients still demand it); 2. Adobe’s Creative Suite; and 3. Google. Services like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, are ancillary to my business. Social Media darlings like Instagram and Pinterest are even more removed from my everyday cadence.
And so what is Google working on? Where is all this Google+ and Google growth going? What’s the Big Takeover Plan?
One word, four syllables:
Google had a vision with WAVE. And the vision was good. The software platform, WAVE, was even too complex for enthusiasts like me to get a handle on. And even when we did “get it” there was no one to WAVE with.
Today Google+ is the new WAVE. But it’s a much more fluid and flexible platform. The other day when I was talking to a friend about Google+ their first response was, “The other Facebook.”
Not exactly. I could care less about Facebook and Facebook’s eventual success or failure. Facebook is non-essential. If Google’s G-Mail system goes down, even for an hour, it’s international news. And as we begin to trust Google with data and essential business functions BEYOND SEARCH we are establishing a dependency on Google that is much deeper than any other platform or system we use. In fact, in some ways, GOOGLE IS THE INTERNET. Sure there’s still BING, and YAHOO, and MSN (kinda)… But the internet without Google would be a different place altogether.
I have surrendered my privacy and data to Google completely. While I occasionally un-check the “share this information anonymously with Google” I more often then not leave myself opted-in. AMAZING! We’re all so riled up about “privacy” on Facebook while Google is marketing products to us based on an email we sent to our closest friends and allies. Type it in Google (in ANY APP) and the ads will flow from there in hopes of attracting your attention and your dollars.
So the BIG TAKEOVER is courtesy of Google. And I’ve succumbed. Facebook, at 1/10th the valuation of Google will never become the heart of our business. And if ever a giant was now poised for dominance or death it’s the lumbering and ignorant Facebook. But the engineers and business strategists at Google are just fine with that. In fact, Goliath is already in control of much of our data. I am not helpless, but I am compliant. I am not a victim, but I am an enthusiastic evangelist of Google’s tools.
Oh webby world what are we weaving? When Google/Amazon/Experian merge into one company will SKYNET have been created? Or is Google working to become self-aware all by itself, with the help of each and every one of us users? I am sorry… I have already been assimilated.