4 days ago I published a post called “Facebook vs Google (Google’s T&C)” where I mentioned the fact that Google had changed its terms and conditions in order to have external services reciprocate user’s data transferability. This was specifically targeted to Facebook, who doesn’t allow any third-party nor its users download or use customer’s data. The move by google was followed by a set of instructions from Facebook for those who wanted to “upload” their Google data into Facebook, clearly going against the spirit of data sharing and cooperation which first triggered Google’s change in its T&C.
The thing is that Google, since its not going to prevent its users from using Facebook’s suggested bypass, which basically indicates you should download all your contact information and then upload it to Facebook, has today introduced a warning message for all those extracting their data, it reads as follows;
So, exactly, what’s happening here? It’s a data/advertising war. Well, as Comscore‘s US Online Display Advertising report states, Facebook ranks as top display ad publisher in Q3 2010, up 13.9% from Q3 2009 to secure a 23.1% market share. The reason for this is dual, Facebook is now managing its advertising as opposed to having it run by Microsoft, and thus is able to deliver advertisers a much higher penetration rate than traditional online advertising and Adsense. They do this through allowing clients to make use of its vast wealth of information regarding Facebook users, hence empowering them with tools to almost produce “bespoke” advertising, which, together with Pages and Groups, come to form an extremely powerful campaign and advertising platform.
The fact that Facebook has a very stern data sharing policy, keeping everything within a walled garden, prevents Google and third partes from accessing what as of today is a very large portion of total online searches and behavioural data, thus eroding Google’s position. Let’s not forget Google’s advertising income is 95% of the company’ total revenue.
So, the data wars have started, let’s see who delivers the next blow, it promises to be as fascinating as the Microsoft – Apple face off in the 80′s, a battle for the supremacy of user data and online advertising. Buckle up!