Forget about Google Me, Facebook unveils its Google rival

July 28, 2010

For weeks, techies have speculated about Google Me, the company’s secret project to take on social networking king Facebook.

But Google isn’t the only one that can play that game.

On Wednesday, Facebook unveiled a new question-and-answer service for the 500 million users of its Internet social network that could have serious implications for Google.

FBQuestionsThe new service isn’t a traditional search engine, per se, but it addresses many of the same needs that a search engine does, and thus could pose a threat to Google’s lucrative search empire.

Facebook Questions, as the new service is called, allows any Facebook user to tap into the collective knowledge of the vast Facebook community for recommendations about restaurants and music, gardening tips, or whatever else tickles their fancy.

Facebook said on Wednesday that the service is currently being “beta” tested with a limited number of people, but that it hopes to make it widely available as quickly as it can. All answers to queries will be publicly visible to everyone on Facebook and classified according to topics or themes for easy browsing by Facebook users.

Google boss Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin have stressed that Facebook is not a threat to Google, noting that web surfers conduct significantly more searches on Google when they become Facebook users.

But it doesn’t require a huge leap of logic to imagine how Facebook’s new Questions service could lessen the need for Facebook users to visit Google’s site to find answers to at least some of their queries.  And less searching on Google, of course, means less opportunities for Google to make money from its search ads.

Facebook Questions is the latest example of the recent trend in online “social search” services. Indeed, one of the most well-known such services, Quora, was developed by a pair of former Facebook engineers. Earlier this week, Ask.com unveiled its own question-and-answer service which it has integrated directly into its search engine Web site.

Google itself acquired Aardvark, which offers a similar service, in February for a reported $50 million. Google doesn’t appear to have done much with Aardvark since acquiring it, but the debut of Facebook Questions may push social search up the priority list at Google.

3 comments

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[...] full post on Google Alerts – gardening tips Categories : [...]

[...] Maybe. While I expect Google to step up to the plate, I also doubt Facebook will take this competition lying down. We’ll see. In the meantime I’ll keep censoring my Facebook updates and [...]

[...] more about Google Me Vs. Facebook – Facebook Strikes Back? This entry was posted in Google Me, Google Me News, Google Me vs. Facebook and tagged Google Me, [...]

This is powerful stuff. Personal recommendations are really useful and FB seems like the perfect platform to capitalize.

Posted by noomii.com | Report as abusive

[...] to the reuters blog post: The new service isn’t a traditional search engine, per se, but it addresses many of the same [...]

Google buying more social media companies to fight against Facebook and setting a stage for ‘Google Me’. After the latest acquisitions of slide and Jambool(expected). its going to go one step closer to the competition.

Check this link below.
Google setting stage for Google Me – the new facebook competitor

Posted by buzzingup | Report as abusive

Publishing the questions to a wall for everyone to see smacks of privacy issues.

Posted by bbrowder | Report as abusive