The growing rivalry between Facebook and Google is hardly a secret (remember the so-called "smear" campaign connected to the social network last month?), but Facebook's ad sales chief Carolyn Everson apparently doesn't think about her Internet adversary when she heads to the office every day.
Or so she says.
On stage at Federated Media's Conversational Marketing Summit yesterday afternoon, Everson said that despite the search giant's recent efforts in the social space, her eye is trained solely on Facebook's mission.
"I don't think about Google when I go to work. I really don't," she said.
While she acknowledged that that two companies compete for talent "every single day," she said she's only focused on Facebook's goal of connecting the world and bring social advocacy and social context advertising to its marketers.
After John Battelle, Federated Media's chairman, commented that Everson's answer was "very politic," she heaped praise on her competitor, saying that Google has a "tremendous" revenue base and significantly more employees than Facebook. Everson, who joined Facebook after briefly leading global advertising at Microsoft, said that Google was also a strong competitor on search when she was at her previous position.
But she added, "Google's not doing anything I want to be doing right now."
When prodded by Battelle earlier in their conversation, Everson said her company has no plans to launch an ad network powered with Facebook data that could further challenge Google.
For its part, Google seems equally (and understandably) cagey about its relationship with Facebook and its new movements into the social Web. When Battelle asked Neal Mohan, the company's vice president of product, earlier in the day about Google's social strategy, he demurred.
"To be honest, there's not one single strategy," he said. But he emphasized that Google is a believer in using technology to create human connections and to help people be social. Mohan pointed out that social signals are embedded in some of the most basic algorithms supporting Google and said that the company's investments in YouTube show a commitment to connecting people.
He said that it's too early to comment on the success of the company's newest +1 social product, but said that Google's vision is to make all of its products social in some way.