Bloomberg has interviewed Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian about what I would is currently one of the biggest wars in technology: Facebook versus Google. I've embedded the video above and I've transcribed it for you below.
What does Ohanian think about Facebook getting into the search business that Google dominates? Relevant: Facebook revamping search.
Well, I think a lot of us have sort of seen this coming. Facebook has been very good at doing social and clearly sees a lot of money to be made with search. If they can make better search results using the knowledge of sort of what the Internet thinks is good material. Whereas Google has always had a very great history of being wonderful at search and never being very good at social. But both of them are clearly seeing where the future is headed. And I think a smarter social Internet search is that future.
Why can't Facebook and Google just partner? Relevant: Facebook hiring more in Sales, Google hiring more in Product.
You know, Mark Zuckerberg, I don't really know him personally, but he strikes me as someone who really wants to just triumph in every market he enters. That doesn't necessarilly involve a partnership unless it's a short-term temporary one. I think he wants Facebook, because it is already a destination for so many people, every day first thing in the morning. If you can have so many people who rely on going to Facebook to start their day to find out what their friends are posting and also run that search query for the next product they're gonna buy or the next thing they want to search. That puts you in a really, really powerful position.
Is Ohanian a fan of Google+? Relevant: Facebook is not 20 times the size of Google+; it’s even bigger.
I am. It may have something to do with the fact that I've somehow managed to get a half a million followers on Google+. The bigger thing is that it's not yet a place to go to find photos of my god daughter or my friends' kids. It has not come close to the critical mass of Facebook. Right now it's still very active but just among really a very tech-aware audience. What Google has going for it though is distribution. The fact that so many of us rely on Google products, Gmail, Search, that they're finding ways to put Google+ into our lives. We'll see if that can compete with Facebook now moving into search.
Will Facebook win? Relevant: Facebook: where does the money come from?.
As far as company life-cycles go, Facebook is at a really interesting point right now, with the IPO now coming up. There's a lot of excitement, there's a lot of energy around this company that is sort of the new entrant in a world where Google has always existed. If there's anything the tech industry likes, it's disruption. I think that there's a ton of momentum going behind Facebook right now.
Will Facebook have to hire employees away from Google? Relevant: Facebook is stealing employees from everyone (infographic).
I think we've already seen a little bit of that. There's been this great talent war between Facebook and Google. It will only continue. Yes.
For the record, I think this discussion is a little flawed. I don't think Facebook is going to challenge Google in search, at least not anytime soon. From my understanding, Menlo Park is looking to improve search internally for its social network. From there, the company may consider improving search externally for the whole Internet, or a part of it.
- Reddit users overwhelm Facebook with data requests
- Zuckerberg: Google, Microsoft collect data "behind your back"
- Google to Facebook: "We are delighted to be underestimated"
- Bing to use Facebook, Twitter more in fight against Google
- Facebook, Twitter, Myspace to Google: Don't be evil
- Facebook, Twitter react to Google's SPYW
- Google overtakes Facebook in employee satisfaction