Over the past several months, social media observers, myself included, have documented how the once-upstart Facebook has taken on search-and-everything-interactive giant Google, and basically whipped their butts in those categories that seem to matter most to Facebook.
For instance, Facebook has become a major factor in “search” based on the premise that the recommendations by your friends are deemed more valuable in certain instances (“recommend a plumber” or “ideas for a summer vacation”) than Google’s algorithmic based search. Google hasn’t helped themselves with “counter attacks” such as Google Buzz that haven’t even provided a speed hump in Facebook’s drive to control all social aspects of the web.
Now Facebook has set its sights (there’s a pun in here somewhere) on the location-based services led by Foursquare, Gowalla and BrightKite. It’s certainly the right cyber real estate, as the combination of location-based apps and mobile are predicted to be one of the very hottest marketing topics over the next 18 months.
Mashable’s Jolie O’Dell, commenting on an Advertising Age report, correctly surmises that Facebook’s “…userbase and mainstream adoption to bring location-sharing tools to a huge audience, excluding these newer competitors from the market.”
According to Ad Age, Facebook will roll out location status updates in late May. Marketers will join the party shortly thereafter. McDonald’s is reported to be one of the early players.
This is not about Facebook attempting to put Foursquare, Gowalla and BrightKite out of business, although it may have those consequences. This is really about advertising revenue and Facebook once again trumping Google.