When first looking at the question of who is bigger on a social scale, Google or Facebook, I initially wanted to say Facebook since when I think of interacting socially, it really is the first thing that leaps to mind. However, while social was originally considered interaction between two or more people, it is now a growing force that encompasses many different pieces. Due to the ever changing nature of being social, I do think that Google might actually be the winner. The reasoning is simple, even people who have sworn to stay away from Facebook for various reasons, still use Google. Google is talked about on a daily basis, from which picture it is using that day as a search box, to people asking for information and saying, “Will you Google that for me?”. While Facebook is wonderful for many things, keeping in touch with friends and family, keeping a watchful eye on frenemies, or just wanting to see what is going on with past classmates, Google is something spoken about constantly. Facebook can be deemed something of a guilty pleasure. A lot of people just use it for “Facebook stalking” and because of that don’t necessarily have the human component of being spoken about. Some people upload information occasionally, while others never upload it at all. Another growing complaint I have heard is the frustration levels of people who don’t understand how to really use Facebook to its fullest extent and because of that stay away from it at all costs. On the other hand, since Google hasn’t changed its format, and it is fairly user friendly, no one really complains about it. Even 80 year olds know enough about it to ask for help finding information in “The Google”. While I think that Facebook is truly revolutionary for allowing people to stay connected, I just don’t see it having the massive social impact that Google does, online and out in the real world.
As far as advertising is concerned, according to Young (2010), “The change that Google has wrought on advertising cannot be overstated. It forced a paradigm shift for advertisers, moving their decision making away from targeting demographics and mass audiences to connecting with individuals in a much more relevant way.”1 Once it became apparent that Google was here to stay with the innovative way it was helping people find products or resources that had the best keywords, it created a dynamic change in the way people looked at their websites. Instead of keeping a website stagnant, they began to be updated consistently using different words in hopes that a product or resource would become the best match. Due to this, I really think that Google is more effective when advertising. It allows more companies to be found in one setting without allowing someone to buy their way to the top. Instead it focuses on what the consumer wants and needs. For these reasons I think Google is way ahead of Facebook when it comes to both being bigger on a social scale and when it comes to being effective on advertising.
1 – Young, Antony. “Google And Facebook.” Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 29. Print.