IanKelley - 8:38 pm on Jan 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
Whenever I see the designation "_____ analyst" I always wonder, if you understand your chosen industry so well, why are you working for someone else? :-)
I do agree with a lot of what he's saying, Facebook is an impressive success and it's potential at this point is immeasurable.
But that is the only way you can compare them to Google 5 years ago.
Virtually everything online is social networking to some degree or another at this point, and many companies besides Facebook are innovating. Whereas 5 years ago, Google was the only company doing anything interesting or unique with search.
Because of that Google was able to create a product that stood out so dramatically it was a no brainer to use them and no one else for search.
In social networking there are so many different approaches that multiple major players can coexist. Facebook dominates in many ways but that doesn't stop Twitter and Foursquare from being successful.
Comparing Facebook and Google to Google and Microsoft is something you do purely because it makes a good sound bite.
It's true that Google stands no chance of competing with Facebook in generalized social networking any time soon. But Google is a search engine.
It would be like calling a popular FTP program a competitor to a popular email app.
True there's enough overlap between the two company's goals that, looking forward and trying to predict where things might go, you could guess that they will become direct competitors. But the internet is notoriously hard to predict long term.
It's safe to say that the majority of Facebookers also use Google search, and the reverse is (almost) as true. So no conflict yet.