In the last week, Google has abandoned development on Google Wave due to underwhelming user adaption rates. The social collaboration tool promised big things: like aggregating your email with real-time chat and collaborative documents – but in the end, the idea may have simply been too ambitious and complex for most people to bother with, given the accessibility of existing tools such as Facebook and Twitter.
Google has had a mediocre run in its attempt to break into the social networking scene. Google Wave’s demise now joins a growing list of insignificant Google Apps, including Orkut, Google Friend Connect, Open Social, and a recent attempt to add Twitter-like status updates to Gmail.
All this only means more power to Facebook, as it becomes increasingly clear that the 500-million-user giant doesn’t have any real competitors in the social networking realm. Facebook would be a huge threat to Google if they started providing a personalised search engine service, or more comprehensive ad targeting, based on the wealth of personal data they’ve collected from their user-base.
The Facebook “Like” phenomenon could also threaten Google’s highly prized search algorithms which value links between websites to determine a website’s popularity and relevance. With over 50,000 websites already having incorporated the “Like” button, Facebook has access to an enormous amount of data about the preferences of internet users.
It all seems to point in one direction: social media is becoming increasingly influential in the world of online marketing and search, just as we posted last week. It’s worth getting in on the trend before it takes off, by integrating social media efforts into your business’ marketing strategy.