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Cloud Talk

Andre Yee

Facebook Overtakes Google--Again

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The big news in the head to head battle between the two online giants is that Facebook has overtaken Google in time spent online. In August, web visitors spend 41.1 million minutes on Facebook (9.8% of online time) versus 39.8 million minutes (9.6% of online time) on all of Google's web properties.

What's remarkable about the report by comscore is that just a year ago, Facebook captured only 5% of total online time. Almost doubling the share of online minutes in the past year is very impressive...but is it really surprising?

If this latest headline sounds familiar, it's because back in March, Hitwise reported Facebook as the most visited site, overtaking Google Search in total number of visits.

That's not to say that Google didn't have something to boast about either - last week, the search giant announced that they reached 1 billion weekly search visitors. But the reality is while Google still rules search, social network is where the action is and will be in the future.

Here's the two critical advantages that Facebook holds over Google that will likely mean long term dominance. First, the nature of social networking platforms is the dynamic of user created content which inherently creates more value in the network. This ultimate in crowdsourcing of content strengthens the network and creates affinity - which makes it no surprise that once Facebook gained the upper hand in "total visitors" that overtaking Google in "time spent" was inevitable. Second, Facebook has successfully developed a true platform where partners add value through widgets, games, etc... Instead of building it all themselves, Facebook has figured out the "Apple App Store" model - how to build an ecosystem that adds to the user experience and drive revenue without having to pay for product development.

Regardless of who wins out this clash of online giants, perhaps we should be a little more concerned that nearly 20% of all our time is spent either on Facebook or Google?

Andre Yee blogs about cloud computing, SaaS, Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies that matter to businesses.

Andre Yee

Andre Yee is an entrepreneur and technologist with nearly 20 years of experience in the business of technology.

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