Its like an another web which now holds the profile of around 9%(500 million users) of the total world population and around 30% of the internet users population.Most intrestingly, if facebook would have been a country then it would have been the seventh most populated country in the world.
These interesting stats are enough to boil the head of google CEO Larry Page. It was the fall of 2007, and google co founder was in the middle of a five-day tour of his company's European operations in Zurich, London, Oxford, and Dublin. The trip had been fun, a chance to get a ground-floor look at Google's ever-expanding empire. But this week had been particularly exciting, for reasons that had nothing to do with Europe; Google was planning a major investment in Facebook, the hottest new company in Silicon Valley.
Originally Google had considered acquiring Facebook—a prospect that held no interest for Facebook's executives—but an investment was another enticing option, aligning the Internet's two most important companies. Facebook was more than a fast-growing social network. It was, potentially, an enormous source of personal data. Internet users behaved differently on Facebook than anywhere else online: They used their real names, connected with their real friends, linked to their real email addresses, and shared their real thoughts, tastes, and news. Google, on the other hand, knew relatively little about most of its users other than their search histories and some browsing activity.
But now, as Page took his seat on the Google jet for the two-hour flight from Zurich to London, something appeared to be wrong. He looked annoyed, one of his fellow passengers recalls. It turned out that he had just received word that the deal was off. Microsoft, Google's sworn enemy, would be making the investment instead—for a 1.6 percent stake in the company, meaning that Redmond valued Facebook at an astonishing $15 billion.
FACEBOOK PLANS TO RULE THE WEB :
Can facebook knock google out ?
This is a big question. The reason that facebook is considered to be the next google of the decade is that it has now captured a position from where it can easily target the giants.
To understand the difference between google and facebook let me give you an example- my friend Deepak agarwal is a regular user of both facebook and google.
When i view him on facebook then the profile gives me a lot of personal information related to him like date of birth, hobbies, links he is sharing etc.
Now when i search for him on google then the only information that i get is that he is a student of Engineering from N.I.E.T college and some other links to his various profiles that he has created on various other networking sites.
What i am trying to explain here is that google doesnot hold enough information about its users compared to facebook. If i am a facebook fan of "Brad Pitt" and i search for "hot celebs" in facebook then facebook will give me the top search results based on Brad pitt. This will not be the case when i search in google.
Hence google has lost a big ground to facebook with respect to the amount of information they hold about there users. The reason for the popularity of facebook largly has been because the users tend to behave quiet originally on facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg is notoriously cocky, even by the standards of Silicon Valley. Two years ago, he walked away from a reported nearly $1 billion offer from Yahoo for his company. He could have sold to Google or Microsoft for a lot more. His business cards once famously read: " i'm ceo ... bitch ". And he has described Facebook as a once-in-a-century communications revolution, implying that he is right up there with Gutenberg and Marconi.
Still, you'd think he might play it a little cool when discussing Google, not wanting to antagonize the most powerful company on the Internet. But Zuckerberg doesn't pull any punches, describing Google as "a top-down way" of organizing the Web that results in an impersonal experience that stifles online activity. "You have a bunch of machines and algorithms going out and crawling the Web and bringing information back," he says. "That only gets stuff that is publicly available to everyone. And it doesn't give people the control that they need to be really comfortable." Instead, he says, Internet users will share more data when they are allowed to decide which information they make public and which they keep private. "No one wants to live in a surveillance society," Zuckerberg adds, "which, if you take that to its extreme, could be where Google is going."
BRAND ADS-- The money game.
Facebook can sell ads beyond its own site. Just as Google's AdSense program sells ads on any participating Web site, Connect and Open Stream will eventually push Facebook-brokered advertising to any member site or app. But unlike with AdSense, Facebook's ads could be exquisitely tailored to their targets. "No one out there has the data that we have," says COO Sandberg.
That's where the big-budget brand advertisers come in. Google has courted them for four years, to no avail. That's because, while search ads are great at delivering advertising to users who are seeking specific products, they are less effective at creating demand for stuff users don't yet know they want. Google has tried everything to lure brand advertisers—from buying and selling radio ads to purchasing YouTube. And it is easy to see why it keeps trying. Today, global online brand advertising accounts for just $50 billion a year. Offline brand advertising, meanwhile, accounts for an estimated $500 billion.
Google's desire to crack the brand-advertising conundrum is so intense, some company executives have even considered swallowing their pride and pursuing another deal with Facebook. But whether or not it ultimately friends the social network, Google has clearly been influenced by it. On December 4, the same day that Facebook Connect launched, Google unveiled its own version, Friend Connect, which allows Web sites to link to accounts on any of the major social networks—including MySpace, LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5, and Bebo. In March, four months after Facebook reportedly offered $500 million in a failed bid for Twitter, reports surfaced that Google was holding similar talks. (A Google insider confirms the discussions.) It is easy to see the appeal: Twitter is growing even faster than Facebook—doubling its membership in March—and would give Google access to the kind of personal information that fills Facebook News Feeds. And Google recently announced Wave, a Web communications platform that encourages Facebook-like sharing and conversations. The company even seems to have conceded Zuckerberg's point about its impersonal search results. In April, Google announced a plan to allow individuals to create detailed profiles that would show up whenever anyone searches for their name. If they opt for this service—a big if—users gain greater control over how they are portrayed online, which will give them the incentive to share with Google the kind of personal information they had previously shared only with Facebook.
Facebook's naysayers have a point. But before they get too complacent, they might remember another upstart that figured out a new way to organize the Internet. For five years, it worked on building its user base and perfecting its product, resisting pleas from venture capitalists to figure out how to make money. It was only after it had made itself an essential part of everyone's online life that its business path became clear—and it quickly grew to become one of the world's most powerful and wealthy companies. The name of that company, of course, was Google.