Tech Cold War: Facebook vs. Google

tech-cold-war

Who is winning the tech cold war?

Spending billions on apps and specialists, these tech giants are vying for control of the digital world. The new cold war isn’t about tanks, missiles or doomsday machines — it’s about commanding your attention (and maybe the stratosphere).

There is always speculation and rumors of upcoming acquisitions for these two companies, but both have their own strategies for growth. Google is focusing on foreign investments, while Facebook path seems pointed towards becoming a media platform.

Illustrated timeline comparison between Google and Facebook acquisitions:

Facebook vs Google

What’s next in the proxy war between these two titans? Will one side emerge as the dominate power, or will they be locked in a stalemate for years to come? And what does this mean for the consumer?

Tech Cold War: Facebook vs. Google

Google and Facebook are at war. Spending billions on apps and specialists, these tech giants are vying for control of the digital world. The new Cold War isn’t about tanks, missiles, or Doomsday Machines — it’s about commanding your attention.

The Zuckerberg Doctrine

  • “Give people the power to share and connect” (… and sell lots of ads)
  • 46 – the number of companies acquired by Facebook
  • $147bn – market cap

The Page-Brin Doctrine

  • “Do no harm, and make information both accessible and useful” (… and sell lots of ads)
  • 146 – the number of companies acquired by Google
  • $367bn – market cap

Highlights of the Tech Arms Race

     
  • Facebook – 9th of August, 2009
    • Name: FriendFeed
    • Price: Classified ($50 million estimated)
    • Capability: News feed
    • New classified tech strengthened Facebook’s News Feed for battle against Google’s domination of the ‘real-time web’

     

  • Google – 9th of November, 2009
    • Name: AdMob
    • Price: $750 million
    • Capability: Mobile ads
    • AdMob’s interactive ad units and expandable rich media added Google extra clout in the mobile ad arms race

     

  • Facebook – 13th of May, 2010
    • Name: Friendster (patents)
    • Price: $40 million
    • Capability: Facebook’s legal arsenal
    • Facebook expanded it’s IP-hinterland in Southeast Asia

     

  • Google – 1st of July, 2010
    • Name: Slide
    • Price: $182 million
    • Capability: Social gaming apps
    • Google marshalled new talent to the front of social gaming

     

  • Facebook – 20th of March, 2011
    • Name: Snaptu
    • Price: Classified ($60-70 million estimated)
    • Capability: Facebook mobile service
    • Snaptu helped Facebook tear down that wall between desktop and mobile services

     

  • Google – 15th of August, 2011
    • Name: Motorola Mobility
    • Price: $12.5 billion
    • Capability: Android, Google TV
    • Another manufacturer bolsters Google’s arsenal of tablets and mobiles

     

  • Facebook – 5th of December, 2011
    • Name: Gowalla
    • Price: Classified
    • Capability: Facebook’s location sharing service
    • Gowalla’s app served to contain Google’s expansion in the location sharing market

     

  • Google – 10th of November, 2011
    • Name: Katango
    • Price: Classified
    • Capability: Google+ Circles automation
    • As Facebook launched Smart Lists, Google annexed Katango to acquire their automatic friend-sorting app

     

  • Facebook – 10th of April, 2012
    • Name: Instagram
    • Price: $1 billion
    • Capability: Picture management
    • 17 filters, 5 million shots a day; a fearsome weapon of mass distraction

     

  • Google – 31st of July, 2012
    • Name: Wildfire Interactive
    • Price: $400 million
    • Capability: Google+, DoubleClick, AdX/AdmeId
    • Social apps, contests, ad feeding to the biggest social networks including Facebook(!) A great chance to infiltrate and cash in on ads run by the enemy

     

  • Facebook – 18th of June, 2012
    • Name: Face.com
    • Price: Classified ($55-60 million estimated)
    • Capability: Facial recognition technology
    • A fresh crop of photo scanning specialists – they never forget a face

     

  • Google – 2nd of October, 2012
    • Name: Viewdle
    • Price: $45 million
    • Capability: Facial recognition technology for mobile
    • Google mobile gadgets could potentially recognize all patriots

     

  • Facebook – 12th of October, 2013
    • Name: Onavo
    • Price: Classified ($150-200 million estimated)
    • Capability: Mobile apps
    • Smart analytics for the mobile front – and Facebook’s first Israeli office establishes a Middle Eastern stronghold

     

  • Google – 3rd of October, 2013
    • Name: Flutter
    • Price: Classified
    • Capability: Android, Google X
    • Googlers could now command apps with gestures – if the Man opted to build them into it’s gadgets

     

  • Facebook – 19th of February, 2014
    • Name: WhatsApp
    • Price: $19 billion
    • Capability: Cheap, efficient online messaging
    • 450 million messengers (+1 million each month) in emerging markets – Facebook now controls a new hotline

     

  • Google – 26th of January, 2014
    • Name: Deep Mind Technologies
    • Price: Over $500 million
    • Capability: Google X, artificial intelligence
    • Widened Google’s influence upon AI, deep learning, and mind mapping

     

  • Facebook – 25th of March, 2014
    • Name: Oculus Rift
    • Price: $2 billion
    • Capability: Augmented reality/video games
    • Facebook enters the (augmented) space race by obtaining the Oculus Rift

     

  • Google – 13th of January, 2014
    • Name: Nest Laboratories
    • Price: $3.2 billion
    • Capability: Google Home
    • Is Google out to close the ‘Smoke Alarm Gap’, and take control of your home?

Other powers compete for dominance – but Facebook and Google are raising the stakes.

So what’s next in the proxy war between these two titans? Will one side emerge as the dominant power, or will they be locked in a stalemate for years to come? And what does this mean for the consumer? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Discussion

2 Comments to “Tech Cold War: Facebook vs. Google”

  1. Google obviously.

  2. Yup, that’s where my money is, too 🙂 (Sent from my Chromebook!)

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