The Web vs. Facebook

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By Nick O'Neill Comment

Yesterday at the Web 2.0 summit, Jeff Huber of Google stated that “over 100,000 sites have already embedded Google Gadgets, with 63 of them attracting more than one million active users a week.” Additionally, in taking a shot against Facebook, Huber said, “a lot that you have heard here is about platforms and who is going to win. That is Paleolithic thinking. The Web has already won. The web is the Platform. So let’s go build the programmable Web.”

Watch out Facebook, Google is gunning for you! Given that Facebook is a closed system, it is pretty impressive that there are over 50 applications with more than 100,000 daily users. Multiply that by 7 days and you are pretty close to the same amount of activity just within Facebook alone. This shows how significant of a player is given that they are almost at par when it comes to widget/application distribution. I’m sure I’ll get blasted for my funny math here but have at it!

I agree with Jeff Huber when he says that the web is the platform. The only problem though is finding a proper place to aggregate the people on the web. Facebook is rapidly becoming the most effective location for this (at least in the U.S., U.K. and Canada). Google is going to have to upgrade Orkut if they are going to have any chance. Right now, all the U.S. developers in the Google beta launch are being forced to translate all of their applications into Portugese and Hindi due to Orkut’s demographic. Google is going to have to figure out a new way to gain ground against Facebook in addition to expanding their reach outside of English speaking countries. This battle is nowhere near being over.