Sitting down to my desk this morning, I did what I always do after checking e-mail, I checked Facebook. I like Facebook, I like Facebook more than Twitter even and I like chatting, debating, sharing, and laughing at the random stuff people post. Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing and his recent The Book of Business Awesome/Unawesome shared his recent blog titled The Farce That Is Google+.
Loved it. Scott spoke on how Google loves to pad Google+’s numbers to make the crummy Facebook clone look like it’s actually a hotbed of activity, but sadly, I’m with Scott, the only people I know that really love Google+ are marketers wanting to plant their flag at the mountain’s peak. Twitter experts (like Mr. Stratten, come to think of it) were a specific set of folks, and knowing that every “wannabe Chris Brogan” wanted their crack at the title this time around, they flocked to Google+ in droves.
But why? What is the motivation here for Google? Why pad the numbers? Why drag people kicking and screaming to the circles to Facebook’s squares?
The answer is simple: eyeballs.
Google makes something like $29 Billion a year off of their AdWords advertising, and I can’t say I’m surprised as just from us Google has drained several thousand dollars from our accounts in the last month for our clients ads. AdWords is BIG business. The problem is, Facebook is the new Google (or at least it was five years ago).
Google was making huge advances in eyeballs on a daily basis, their numbers were growing steadily and for the most part you didn’t use the internet, you used Google. That is still certainly the case BUT we now ALSO use Facebook, and many of the things that we were doing on Google, we now do via Facebook.
All that rich data, all those tags and keywords and references that Google uses to flag your Google Account for what type of advertising they can send you, all of that data is cut off if you’re using Facebook. Google needs that data, so they went about cloning Facebook so you’d do those activities on their domain instead, where they could still collect your sweet sweet data.
Say what you will about Zuckerburg (Who apparently owes you $10), but Facebook isn’t interested in your data for the sake of advertising on the level that Google is. Facebook was created to be Facebook, but sadly Google+ was also created to be Facebook, their motivations are clearly focused on controlling all the eyeballs.
You don’t need a tinfoil hat, but it is good to know the motivations behind the madness. Google wants your eyeballs, they want your data, they want your behavior, because if they have it, they can leverage that information to better serve you with advertisements in true Minority Report fashion that suit your online behavior.
The internet certainly didn’t need another Facebook, but Google made one anyway so they could suck out your sweet gooey data filled middle like a little you shaped Twinkie filled with likes, dislikes and buying behavior.