Seldom do we talk about other search engines at the Article Archive, because Google is the Big Daddy of them all. However, Bing made a huge announcement a few days ago that makes many people look at Google’s Instant like yesterday’s old news.
Google and Twitter
Over the past, oh… year, maybe, Google has really started pulling Twitter into the limelight. Those who didn’t know Twitter was a place to go for business do now, especially with the rollout of Google’s RealTime Search feature.
For those that haven’t been paying attention, GRT allows people to search topics on social feeds. Generally, these feeds are from Twitter or Friendfeed with the occasionally aside from other accounts. Social media aficionados just shrugged and said, “Told you so”, while businesses that didn’t use Twitter scrambled to grab a branded account.
Since many other business individuals already knew the benefit of Twitter for business, some of those people also parked branded accounts for the competition. So, for example (and completely hypothetical), this is like @lowes registering @homedepot, @home_depot and any other variation, and holding on to it. So much for social media and branding.
Bing and Facebook
Now it’s happening again for those businesses without a Facebook account. You may just be left holding an empty bag on Christmas. October 13, 2010, Bing announced that Facebook will officially be a part of their search results. You can read more about the specific changes at Website Magazine.
This is huge, people:
- Facebook has over 100 million mobile users alone.
- Worldwide, the megaton social media platform has over 500 million active users.
- Over 700 billion minutes are spent per month on Facebook.
Now, Facebook won’t appear in the results unless you search using “Liked Results”, so some people may shrug and say, “So what?” However, if you consider a “like” as a positive result and you consider how much 100 positive votes might affect your choice of search result, you might begin to see the business potential here.
Facebook Is Dying… Isn’t It?
A slew of articles and news bits have come out over the past year, discussing how the higher-ups of the company have no business ethics. Many have shared outrage with Facebook’s seeming break with their own privacy statements. A few security leaks here, a few security leaks there, and people slowly get the idea that maybe good ‘ole FB ain’t quite the place it used to be.
One of the newest articles, Social Media Privacy Leaks Creates More Detractors Than Promoters for Facebook by Ron Callari, nicely covers how (and why) the social media giant may end up biting the bullet. Namely, all the problems of late have brought up the serious question of trust. This lack of trust, Ron calculates, may be pushing many of the 500 + million users into a passive or detracting attitude. So, good thoughts and feelings are going down the drain for Facebook.
However, let me also quote one of the last things Ron states in his article. “Presently Facebook is the only game in town. Other contenders like MySpace have fallen off the radar, and young upstarts like Diaspora haven’t really taken hold just yet.”
So, while you’re waiting for over 500 million people to quit using Facebook, think about how long that might take – 3 years? 5? 10? Then ask yourself, are you willing to wait that long before you do something that can potentially boost your business to unprecedented levels? I think not.
If you’ve been hemming and hawing over whether to use Facebook as a platform for your business, stop. Yes, it works. Yes, it can help your business grow. And with the Facebook/Bing integration, if you don’t use FB, you could be missing out on one of the few things that would put you ahead of the competition.