Facebook’s Hired Guns Go After Google in Range War
All is fair in love and war goes the popular adage and everyone knows that the web is the new battleground. Facebook made it abundantly clear that it knows the rules of engagement when it hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to go after Google’s reputation.
Google has become an increasingly painful thorn in Facebook’s side with a number of rollouts of social elements in its stable, the most recent of which was the introduction of Google’s +1 button. Facebook, which has come under fire from many quarters for its lack of a customer service culture and its inability to keep its membership base happy, is gearing up for its next phase of development which requires it to secure its business model.
That business model could potentially be critically wounded were a competitor of the size, reach and persistence of Google unveil a direct competing product like a rival social network. War on the web is waged along many fronts. When it comes to technicalities and resources Google’s army of 30,000 programmers and its mighty data centres all over the world give it an edge which Facebook cannot even begin to approach never mind match.
Similarly, in terms of information, none is more adept than Google in leveraging its ability to index information in order to turn out more services, products and offerings.
In reputation management however the web is truly the great equalizer. Many a company has found out that a single disgruntled customer with an axe to grind and some time can damage their reputation to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. By enlisting a PR firm to attack Google on perceived soft spots in its armour, like privacy concerns raised over the bungled Google Buzz launch, Facebook is deflecting attention away from itself and strengthening its hand should Google launch a possible social network rival.Continued on the next page