Search Engine giant, Google this week (Wednesday 19th July 2017) announced that it is to make a series of updates to its mobile search platform in order to compete with social network phenomenon Facebook.
In September 1998, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin launched Google, originally named ‘Backrub’, in a quest to provide a fast, clean and simple search engine that displayed instant results. Since then, Google has remained the number one search engine in the world, despite have restricted access to a number of its business tools in a several countries including China, Pakistan and Cuba, consistently steering miles ahead of Bing, Yahoo and BaiDu.
In 2016, Google generated $89.6 billion in global revenue, of which, $79.4 billion was in advertising revenue.
Despite constantly evolving their platforms in line with user habits and demand, Google has now identified Facebook as their largest threat when it comes to mobile search.
Like Google, Facebook has continued to fight off competition from other social networks like Twitter and Instagram, which they famously purchased in 2010 for £629 million. Facebook has impressed marketers and technology fans with their ability to launch new products in line with trends and new apps that could be a potential threat. For example, following the launch of Twitter’s Periscope in 2015 Facebook launched Facebook Live which is now one of the most used features of the Facebook Mobile App.
So what is Google changing?
Google has announced a complete overhaul of its mobile app on mobile phones to include a personalised feed of link about hobbies, travel, sports and other topics, a move that puts the search company into more direct competition with Facebook. Google has already started rolling out these changes in the United States and will arrive in the UK and other countries over the coming weeks.
Although Google has confirmed this is not a plight to compete with Facebook, the name of the new offering ‘Google Feed’ has very strong similarities to Facebook’s ‘News Feed’ which also offers similar features where users can find out update on their friends, locations and businesses/products they are interested in.
Claire White, Account Director for Why Media explains; ‘These days, our digital lives are controlled by mainly three corporate giants, Facebook and Google being two of them. As a marketer, this isn’t the first time I have seen Google compete with Facebook’s News Feed, the launch of Google+ in 2011 saw them try to capture the business world by offering a similar platform that also had the benefits of enhancing your SEO ranking organically. Google Feed will be another great platform to target our clients’ audiences and increase return on investment so we are excited for the UK launch in August.’
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