Now here is a question that would have supporters on both the sides and from my own experience and a little research of the online trend, I have found that there are very strong feelings attached with Google and most of the online advertising experts believe that there is no immediate threat to Google from Facebook.
Still, a major section believes that Facebook actually terrifies Google and they have their own points to put forward in this respect. As far as immediate threat is concerned, we can rule it out as Google made $2.9 billion profit in the last quarter which is almost equivalent to the total revenue generated by Facebook in 2011.
One of the most critical sections where Facebook actually leaves behind Google is the “user detail”. Now if you say that Google is concerned about the level and depth of user detail that Facebook has access to then it is very likely that you right. And when we think about it we can clearly see that the only reason why Facebook has all this detail is because we tell it to Facebook.
This actually allows Facebook to tailor its ads more precisely and make sure that they reach only the desired type of users. When compared to Google’s search ads, the advertisements on Facebook sound very impressive and rightly targeted. All the information that users fill in their profiles on Facebook is actually used by Facebook to aim the ads and make them reach only to users who might be interested in the product.
Moreover, Facebook has made it very easy and straightforward for people to create their ads and target them to desired users. Over Facebook’s targeting page you get to choose from so many options to narrow down your targeted audience that you would just be delighted to see it. You can narrow down the target for your ads on the basis of location, age, gender, precise interests, connections, sexual orientation, relationship status, languages known, education and particular workplaces.
The ads could be tailored in such a way that you can reach 100 people on Facebook who live in los angels, are aged between 25-38 years old, like “Geometry” and work at either Google or Apple. Now that’s something that every business would like to have.
When we compare it to Google’s search advertising product, we see that we are offered limited options as compared to Facebook. You can target the ads on the basis of user’s location, devices and languages. The display network ads further demographic and geographical options but it has been found to receive a lot of fake clicks.
However, the true power of Google lies in the fact that it allows you to target users on the basis of keywords that they use to search on Google. This very fact enables you to reach those users who are actually looking for services or products that you want to target for. Just imagine how great it would be if you were able to target users much deeper like you can do on Facebook.
Facebook might be much smaller in comparison with Google today but the amount of personal user data that it has is much larger than what Google has and it keeps on growing. It would be interesting to see how Facebook expands its advertising by either launching self-service ads like Google’s “AdSense” or brings in something new to surprise us all.
It will be interesting to note that Google has recently targeted the social segment with its Google+ project which is actually an attempt to get users logged in and share information, likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests with Google. This step actually projects that Google wants to get comparative in ad targeting before Facebook could become a real threat for it in the coming future.