My business partner and I were talking about how the market is shaping up into quite a competition between Google and Facebook. And that is possibly true, but Facebook needs to show more to make me think they’re up to Google’s reach.
Why is that? One word: innovation. Whereas Google is putting out new applications, tweaks, and upgrade on a WIDE variety of online services (it’s just not search, folks), I don’t see the same for Facebook. What was the last great innovation for Facebook? In the past year and a half I can’t think of one thing that Facebook has done that has drastically improved or expanded the experience of using their products. Admittedly, I’m not an advertiser on Facebook, so I can’t speak to that side. But as a user, the main things I’ve seen are a variety of tweaks that haven’t really improved my enjoyment of the site, and the considerable expansion of Zynga games, which I find to be an annoyance. And the one plus that everyone else is also doing – becoming easily available on handhelds.
A year ago I felt like Facebook would have a great 2010, that they would figure out innovative ways to embed PayPal into their offerings and finding services that they could quickly monetize. I haven’t seen it. Meanwhile, Google keeps adding things, so many things that you’re shocked if you haven’t checked Google Labs in three months and discover what’s there.
Now Facebook has some cash to really expand. It’s time to show their future.