The Tipping Point

Posted on March 17, 2010 by Tony Uphoff

Lots of buzz in media and internet circles over the last 2 days over the announcement that Facebook passed Google in traffic, becoming the leading Web destination in the US. There are as many people who predicted that this would happen as there are people who are shocked that it did. Regardless of how you view Facebook, the reality is that it has become an extraordinary platform for consumer web interest. Facebook's passing Google represents a significant event. One that we may well look back on as a tipping point. Exactly what has driven the growth of Facebook-as one could argue at the expense of Google- is a fascinating discussion and debate for media and Internet professionals and those that follow the industry. So here is my take...

Facebook's overtaking of Google is a reflection of people being more interested in what their social graph is doing, saying and passionate about, than in "searching" the web. The elegance of the Facebook platform is a "post search" model. One in which you have already defined what you are interested in by who you are interested in, so "search" becomes an aspect of the people in your social graph. The idea of "searching the web" has lost resonance for most regular web users...which is basically all of us. The next generation of search has yet to really emerge. New visual search applications and extraordinary improvements in search technology continue, yet none have captured the scale of Google's core search algorithms. This milestone in social network traffic suggests a true change in interest and behavior. It may also suggest a post search world where the social graph, branded content networks and other destinations reflect what Web users are "searching" for and once found where they focus their time and interests. Let me know your thoughts on Facebook surpassing Google. Much ado about nothing or a tipping point?,

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