Why Facebook is more important than Google now

14/10/2012

If Google would disappear off the face of the earth tomorrow:

I will use Bing for search.

I will use my Yahoo Mail or Outlook.com for email.

My company email also depends on GMail but I guess we can just revert to hosting our mailboxes with our web host

YouTube will certainly be missed but there will still be Vimeo, DailyMotion and others to keep me entertained.

I will NOT MISS Google+ at all. What was it for exactly?

I will have to look for a Google Analytics replacement. That would be a headache but I guess I will find some basic stuff to use.

I will no longer get checks from Google Adsense on this blog. But the amounts have become so low since I stopped blogging intensively that it will not really affect my income.

My Nexus S will be kind of frozen in time (no more App updates, and certainly no GMail). But that would not be the end of the world.

I would have to find a replacement to sync calendars across Mac and phone and iPad. But iCloud is there. So iPad/Mac problem is already solved.

But if Facebook disappears:

First of all, I would panic as I don’t have a “rolodex” with the names and contacts of all my friends and close acquaintances. Irreplaceable. (or I will have to sift through my Mac’s address book and create a “friends” group and also get the contacts of quite a number of people whose email and phone numbers I don’t have but with who I interact on Facebook).

I would lose tons of personal thoughts and memories accumulated over years. Irreplaceable.

I would lose my main source of local news. I guess Twitter can replace that to a certain extent.

I would lose access to several important groups and pages where I am active, engaged and connected to virtual communities. Irreplaceable.

I would lose touch with the stream of personal news of my friends abroad. Irreplaceable.

I would lose the daily interesting conversations that happen between me and my friends and sometimes strangers around important or unimportant subjects. Irreplaceable.

I would lose a very important messaging platform that is starting to replace my email. Could be replaced.

By and large, Facebook is irreplaceable. The fact that it has enmeshed itself so effectively into my life and a billion other lives, and that is basically a platform powered by humans makes it irreplaceable.

I don’t invest in stocks. But if I were to make a bet on one of the two companies as an investment I would put my money on Facebook.

10 Comments

  1. Basem says:

    How would you replace Google Apps comprehensiveness beyond individual services such as docs/drive? but the real question is, would you actually pay a monthly subscription to maintain your account if FB decides to lock down with a pay-wall?

  2. Humeid says:

    Don’t MS have Office live or whatever?

    Would I pay Facebook a monthly subscription. Probably yes. But it would be very greedy of them to do that :-)

  3. Omar Qunsul says:

    I like your logic in this post, and at first glance I said “Ofcourse Google” !

    But wait a minute …

    First I want to say that I’m a user who spends hours everyday in front of the Browser, with many tabs open, but always the first tab is Gmail, and the 2nd is Facebook.

    For me, The sum over the difference of quality between each Google Product and each alternative product, is much more important ( bigger ) for me than Facebook as a Social tool. At some point we will miss Google quality of search, and GMail, ofcourse it’s something to be missed, I don’t know how I used to live before it, Google Calendar ..

    Not to mention Google efforts on Android, Google Chrome and many other fields.

    Facebook power is in the number of users, not in its quality of product. It’s not something hard to make ( and it’s Mark Zuckerberg who confirmed that once as well in his interview with the BBC ). If Facebook disappears you can still communicate with all the friends, but with many other different tools, and that’s not a problem. Not to mention ofcourse that you can download all your Facebook data ( posts , … ) which is your main problem Ahmad :)

    I hope my opinion makes sense :)

    • Humeid says:

      Interesting..

      Facebook’s disappearance would have a more “emotional” impact on me. Google’s disappearance would be a big inconvenience, but a merely technical one. I see Google more as a utility in the background and quite replacable eventually. But Facebook is where digital life happens now. :-)

  4. Abed says:

    I don’t have Facebook anymore, i used to have it once, then i deleted the account, like in fact a LOT of my friends here. I think Facebook is living now in the Middle East what it was 5-6 years ago here in Europe, it’s just a “trendy” thing. In fact we don’t need it, we just want to feel part of a “tribe” by having an account. My real friends are in my real life, not on web. My friends/relatives living far are on Skype, where i can see them, almost all the people i know are on Whatsapp and in fact this is my “new email”. For news and other social stuff Twitter is really better. So, what is Facebook for at the end?

  5. Huss D says:

    Facebook is slowly becoming our identity. It hold memories much better than our brains and offers an easier way to go through them. And what are you if not your own perception of yourself, formed by going back to your own memories and written thought? To lose Facebook is to lose who you are.

  6. Omar says:

    “For me, The sum over the difference of quality between each Google Product and each alternative product, is much more important ( bigger ) for me than Facebook as a Social tool. At some point we will miss Google quality of search, and GMail, ofcourse it’s something to be missed, I don’t know how I used to live before it, Google Calendar ..”

    Very well put.

    Ahmad, I actually think the exact opposite of your article :) The incremental enhancements that google brings to everyone’s life (effective search, chrome, gmail, android….x10) dwarfs IMHO the good that FB brings.

    Case in point: When FB is down, you instantly hear jokes related to sudden bursts of productivity people experience world wide. I doubt anyone would say a similar joke when a google product goes down.

    • Humeid says:

      Chrome? There is Safari and IE and dozen other browsers. Search? I said it. I could live with Bing. Android? Yout mean the Windows of this generation? Very replaceable by iOS, Windows Mobile and even MeeGo!

      Guys you are not getting my point.

      Great brands are not just about utility. They certainly are not about productivity (how “productive” is Posrsche? Rolex? Starbucks? Nike?). The are about emotion.

      THe power of Facebook is its uniqueness. The amount of human memories and conversations it has amassed. THe amount of human connections it has captured and has created.

      Google will end up being a brand like AT&T. Important.. maybe very successful. But ultimately stagnant.

      Facebook can be the next Apple.

  7. mz says:

    Facebook is dead already, fad is over, boring

  8. osamah-q says:

    That’s is NOT true, I could’t picture my life without Google, but you’re right, with the Sacrifice of a few “luxuries” we

    could totally replace Google products with several products from random places, it will be hard to get used to it, but we’ll deal. Facebook is the same way, it IS replaceable, it’s true that most people if they got to choose they would choose Facebook but if we needed to Google+ will be enough.

Leave a Comment

  • gravamen