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Facebook vs. Google: Homepage Choice via [pcmagazine, osm and mambomedia]

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Facebook vs. Google: The Contact Wars

By: Lance Ulanoff

  • Lance Ulanoff
If Facebook unveils its rumored e-mail platform, it may need to rethink how it handles and delivers user data—contact and otherwise.

Right now, Google and Facebook are in a war over contacts. If Facebook wants to import Google Gmail contacts through Google’s API, it has to let other services import Facebook contacts. No one was really talking about this lack of contact parity before Google made an issue of it, but now everyone wants to know which side will blink first. The truth is neither one of them is going to budge. Instead, Facebook may change the rules of the game.

Next week Facebook will unveil something e-mail and contact related. No announcements have been made, but this is the prevailing rumor and even the invite indicates some sort of message-based announcement.

If Facebook unveils full-blown e-mail with a Facebook.com e-mail address for all users, Google’s little hissy fit will suddenly look rather ridiculous. A Facebook e-mail system is actually a great idea. A half a billion members already use the social networking service as their primary means of inter-friend-relative-and acquaintance communication. This will simply give them a richer platform.

I hate the stories calling this development a “potential Gmail killer.” Why does each new advancement in an existing space have to displace something else? Could the Samsung Galaxy Tab “kill” the Apple iPad? Of course not. There really aren’t a lot of murderous products out there. Maybe the iPod (which didn’t kill all other MP3 players, but certainly turned them into zombies). In any case, whatever Facebook delivers would be exciting and useful for Facebook fans, but they won’t dump all their old e-mail accounts from ISPs, GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc, just so they can live exclusively on Facebook.

A couple of years after I began using Gmail, I did, in fact, import all of my contacts from Outlook. I had to export them as a CSV file and then import them into Gmail. I didn’t do this so I could leave Outlook. My intention, instead, was to protect (read backup) my vast contact library, in case something happened to my system or I lost my job. (Yes, that Outlook account is on a work system).Google’s angry with Facebook because it sucks in those Gmail contacts (if you let it) to help quickly build up your friends list. There is no way for Gmail to suck contact info from Facebook. I have never imported Gmail contacts into Facebook because I like to keep my work and personal lives somewhat separate. I don’t know if there are people clamoring to import Facebook contacts into Gmail, but I suspect not—they can already communicate with them through Facebook’s simple messaging and chat systems.

A richer Facebook e-mail, with real e-mail management, folders, attachments, CC and BCC functionality could change that, but it won’t for me. If Google develops a new social platform (forget Buzz) to compete with Facebook, then perhaps people will want to migrate their Facebook contacts to Google GBook. However, Google recently said it wasn’t all that interested in building a Facebook style social network. Which brings us back to the core argument between Google and Facebook. Google lets you put in and take out contact info, and Facebook does not.

That’s actually not entirely true.

Facebook now lets you take almost everything out of the service and, to my mind undercuts (at least a tiny bit) Google’s core argument.

Much to my surprise, Facebook has finally turned on the eagerly-awaited “Download your Data” feature. It works pretty much as promised (see the slideshow to learn exactly how it works), you can download virtually everything you’ve posted onto the site in one neat-little zip file. Mine came down as a 4MB zip file. Compiling it took Facebook almost two hours. In it I found my wall postings back three years, photos, notes, events and every single message going all the way back to May 8, 2007. The Zip file unpacks into a mini, navigable web site, so it’s easy to click through to all your data goods. Yes, Facebook even includes a list of all your friends. See? Take that Google!

Wait. Hold on. It’s not quite that good.

Truth is, this is also where Facebook stumbles—quite badly. The list of alphabetized (by first name!) “Friends” is flat—meaning it’s not linked to anything. So you can’t click on a name to learn more about who they are, or even, at least, go back to the associated Facebook profile. In messages, Facebook highlights all the names in blue, but it’s just a trick—those names aren’t linked either. It ends up feeling a little bit like I moved out of my Facebook home with all my belongings and then Facebook moved away. I know it’s still there, but why isn’t anything linked?

I guess this approach make sense if you’re leaving Facebook for good, since you wouldn’t be able to access any of contacts anyway. Still, it sort of fails as a true data backup and definitely doesn’t encourage porting those Facebook relationships to another platform.

If and when Facebook introduces its mail system, this Download option could change. It could also be engineered right out of existence if, in fact Facebook really doesn’t want to share e-mail contact info. This attitude would make Facebook a pain, but I still don’t think Google is taking the right approach. I’ve always loved how Google strove to be the better online citizen. Google, stop complaining, keep your contact API open and let Facebook make the stupid contact mistakes.

Facebook vs. Google: Homepage Choice

Facebook vs. Google: Homepage Choice

by Tim Ollason

Facebook vs. Google, the saga continues… previously we have brought you news surrounding their user data battle which continues along with Facebook actually failing privacy risk reports. Now we bring you the news that Facebook are going to be asking users to change their homepage to THEIR site.

This comes as no surprise to me as if you have a homepage set to the likes of Google, Facebook or anywhere else, it means guaranteed traffic for that site. Every time you open up a web page you will be giving someone traffic. Crazy when you think of the importance to all of these giants. Do you feel that Facebook have to offer more than just social media to be your homepage? i know that i can access anything i want with Google set as mine straight away.

Facebook will be doing this in the not to distant future so if you don’t want to set it be sure to click on the right choice! Will you be changing your homepage to Facebook ahead of the likes of Google? Let us know in the comments below.

Voter Smackdown: Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads

Laurel Hamilton
| Laurel Hamilton at Mambo Media

We get a kick out of politics at Mambo Media, so we were thrilled to be asked to design online ad campaigns for an initiative on the November 2010 ballot in Washington State.

The client asked us to spend an equal amount of money on Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. And that was the beginning of the smackdown. Which platform is better for online advertising spend?

To answer this question, I focused on three priorities:

1.  Impressions: Facebook Triumphs

The chief goal of this campaign was to increase targeted voter familiarity of the initiative. Even if a voter only sees the ad briefly on the Facebook page sidebar, it’s an opportunity for him or her to learn the name of the initiative and associate it with the ad tagline and image.

At the end of the campaign, the Facebook ads had been viewed over 7.5 million times and the Google Ads had been viewed about 34,000 times. Yes, while spending an equal amount on each platform!

2.   Clicks: Google is the Victor

While not a top priority, clicks were also important to this ad campaign. In some of the ads, we directed voters to the initiative’s Facebook page (and gathered many new Likers and commenters in the process), and other ads sent voters to the initiative website to learn more.

In the end, the Google Ads provided 2,080 clicks, with an impressive 6.06% clickthrough rate, and Facebook Ads resulted in 1,599 clicks (clickthrough rate: .02%).

3.  Targeting: Facebook Prevails

Facebook Ads was the clear winner in precise demographic targeting.  If we had wanted, we could have shown the ads to ONLY 36 year old men in Washington who were connected to the opposition’s Facebook Page!

So, Who Wins the Smackdown?

As is the case with all social media marketing, the best channel to use depends on the campaign goals. In this campaign, impressions (views) were the priority, which means that we can officially (and obviously) declare Facebook Ads the winner!

However, it’s worth mentioning that a campaign more focused on detailed education from clicks would consider the Google AdWords results to be superior – especially since their clickthrough rates were much higher.

In conclusion, if a client or your brand can’t afford both for testing, look to Facebook for impressions and to Google for clickthroughs. But keep in mind, if you have a niche product, cause or audience, the hyper-targeted nature of Facebook Ads will tip the scales.

What are your experiences with Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads?



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