Intern-For-A-Day Series: Godzilla (Google) vs. Mechagodzilla (Facebook)

February 22, 2011

Editor’s note: This is the third in our latest series of Fast Horse Intern-For-A-Day posts. We recently asked wannabe interns to offer up their predictions for 2011. We picked four winning posts and we’ll run them each Tuesday for a month. In March, we’ll have the writers in for a one-day paid internship at Fast Horse.

Today’s post is from Margaret Steck. Here’s a little about her:

Hometown: Mankato, Minn.

Education: Minnesota State University, Mankato, double majoring in art history and public relations with a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate.

Some work experience: President of the Student Art League and the founding chair of the first student-run PR firm on her campus, Expertise PR.

Interests: Her 8-month-old Pomeranian-mix, Andre the Giant, along with her two cats, Double-Stuffed (as in the best kind of Oreo) and Moni.

Godzilla (Google) vs. Mechagodzilla (Facebook): A Fight to the Death

By: Margaret Steck

Many surprises and battles could lie ahead in the next year, but the biggest and most notable could certainly be the blitzkrieg that may occur between the two online powerhouses, Facebook and Google.

In November, Google blocked Facebook’s access to its users’ contacts since Facebook wouldn’t reciprocate the favor. Facebook found away around this, however, by allowing Gmail users to download their contacts, dinging the hypothetical bell for the battle royal between the frenemy mega-giants to commence.

My prediction for 2011 is that the conflict will not subside, but rather escalate unless both of the companies decide to join forces. This, of course, will never happen since they are both too power-hungry and independent. So the real question is, who will be victorious if the war continues to rage?

While various tech and business blogs tend to side with Facebook due to their amplified pay-per-click advertising capabilities and ability to include personal information and user generated content in with their searches, my money is on Google. This is not necessarily due to Google’s various strengths, but more due to Facebook’s numerous inadequacies.

While Google has seen its own privacy issues in the past, such as the Google Buzz debacle, users generally trust the search engine more than the Facebook with their private information. Why is this? As Slate points out, no one has a “more comprehensive graph” of our social connections than Facebook. This has brought the company ridiculous profits, but it would also make it very easy for them to circulate the information around the Web. With highly public privacy issues that have saturated the media, Facebook users’ faith in the site to keep information confidential has waned.

Business Insider pointed out 10 Reasons To Delete Your Facebook Account (followed by 10 Reasons You’ll Never Quit Facebook) and seven of the 10 reasons were privacy-related in one way or another. If Facebook doesn’t do some damage control and restore its users’, Mark Zuckerberg will have to watch his back as 2011 progresses.

At least once a month I receive an invite for a mass exodus from Facebook, and there is a reason why I don’t ever accept. Unlike Google, Facebook has more social activities than Google and is a way to interact with peers, companies and organizations like never before, but what would happen if a competitor uproots the social media giant? No one thought it would be possible with MySpace, and then came Facebook. There is a much higher possible of a Facebook replacement to come around than there is for a search engine to kick Google off of the throne.

Facebook may seem invincible at the moment, just like the cyborg Mechagodzilla, but I am predicting that Google will prevail. After all, in Google we Trust.