Facebook, Apple and Google are three tech companies at the top of the foodchain. But while Google produces the odd flop every now and then… Orkut? it has always seemed completly unassailable in its core territory – the search engine. But two developments in the past week have shaken that hold by suggesting shifts in how the web is structured. Shifts which could edge Google out of the heart of the internet.
Google isn’t going to disppear – oh no – but the way it organised the net is getting pushed aside as the other two companies create new hubs of content and new ways that content is bound together. The two key events?
Okay I’m sure you see where I’m going here, but I’ve hacked together a couple of photoshop diagrams just to illustrate how those developments hit Google’s search engine and change the shape of the web.
ONE: this is what we’re all used to – Google’s your homepage. You open up the internet, head to google and type in what you want to do: whether that’s going to Twitter, opening up the news or looking at pictures of bulldog puppies. You want to do something else? back to google and type in somthing else. Google is the heart of the whole experience: you start there and you keep going back there. Sure sites link to each other but the hub is Google. In a simplified way, it looks like what I’ve whacked up above.
TWO: the success of Apple’s app store even took them by surprise – but it’s a run-away popular model that’s being used by lots of companies and contributes to the widgetisation of the net into services that do stuff for you.
Given that we all mostly use about five or six key sites it makes sense to have direct links to those sites and services – and yes, that’s what an app does: Tweetie takes you to Twitter, the New York Times app takes you to NYT articles, evernote
Apple’s purchase of Siri wasn’t a major finanical committment for them but it shows their interest in pursuing app-based internet. As the founders of Siri say in an interview with Robert Scoble: they’ve made a do-engine and it’s a new paradigm. Read – a way of using the net that doesn’t directly involve Google.
THREE: and the biggie that we’re still digesting the implications of – Facebook’s new Open Graph and Like Button. Basically Facebook’s taking over the internet and uh, that means reorganising the content of the net around its social network. To paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg’s opening comments: today the web is built around “unstructured links to webpages” [ie Google] and would be much better off organised by social connections ie the Facebook network which would become the new framework the web is built around.
Well I could keep drawing black lines but you get the gist. It’s all organised around our facebook profiles.
However we can be pretty sure Google won’t take this lying down, so watch out for their Facebook fight-back…