IDC: Google poses threat to Facebook in social mobile app wars

IDC researchers think that Google's wide range of assets is the key to implementing its social strategies.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Public enthusiasm for Google+ has certainly waned in the last few months since the platform's initial debut last summer.

Nevertheless, analysts over at IDC as well as mobile platform company Appcelerator argue that Google still poses a significant threat to Facebook when it comes to social mobile applications.

Even though Google might have spread itself too thin and some (former) employees believe that the company is going in the wrong direction with certain projects, researchers behind this report actually posited that it is Google's wide range of assets (including Google+ as well as Android, Google Apps, etc.) is really the key to implementing its social strategies.

That's because more developers on average recognize the value in Google's integrated platform and capabilities on everything from YouTube to Google searches.

On the other hand, even with the launch of Facebook's Open Graph, these developers are still "struggling" to comprehend how to leverage Facebook's platform for social mobile apps.

Thus, there in lies a major problem for Facebook, according to Scott Ellison, vice president of Mobile & Connected Consumer Platforms at IDC:

This translates into a big competitive opportunity for Google—and potential significant risk for Facebook—especially because developers perceive Google as innovating faster than Facebook. Add to that, Google itself is clearly gearing up to leverage its network effects, one example being the alteration of its privacy policies to allow sharing of user data across its services.

Here are a few other highlights from the IDC-Appcelerator Mobile Developer Survey:

  • 78 percent of mobile developers plan to integrate HTML5 in their apps in 2012.
  • WP7 is the clear "number three" OS in terms of developer priorities, after Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
  • Developer interest in RIM declined from 20.7 percent in Q4 2011 to 15.5 percent in Q1 2012.
  • Thanks to fragmentation, researchers are seeing a "small but steady erosion" in the amount of developer interest towards Android over the last four quarters, even as Android device shipments increase.

For reference, the results are based upon the responses from 2,173 Appcelerator developers worldwide.


Editorial standards