The competition for social media supremacy online is heating up between Google and Facebook, as both are realising the potential long term revenue stream of that market.
Google created Google Friend Connect to allow people to become a member of a network. But the benefits of using this service were not as clear cut. Then came Google Buzz, which again was integrated with Gmail but has not been widely adopted. Then came Google Wave which would allow complete engagement with Google profiles and most websites.
Facebook Connect allows you to leave a comment on any sites that have this function enabled. If someone decides to leave a comment, it will copy the profile picture and then provide a link to your profile on Facebook.
The next step is obviously doing business via the web of social networks. Based on Forrester reports, there are 5 eras of social media, with the final step set to begin in 2011. This is termed “social commerce”, where social networks become part of the buying process.
Virtual products are profitable (Facebook gifts, smartphone applications, elements from the game Second Life). The market has the potential to exceed $1 billion in just the USA alone. China’s larger population and social networks is worth and estimated $5 billion.
Streamlining the Social Media Buying Process
The next step is for Google and Facebook to create simple e-commerce platforms for anyone to purchase any product with a one-click stop shop process like Amazon.
The only thing I would be concerned about is security, which needs to be more secure than it is right now.
Would social network would you feel more comfortable purchasing products over, the Facebook platform or the Google platform? Share your thoughts in the comments below.