Google appears to be playing what they believe is a high stakes game with Facebook. While many are writing off the battle as nothing more than a minor kerfuffle over the geeky topic of “data portability”, we believe Google has timed this perfectly to coincide with the launch of Google.me in the coming weeks.
All of the discussion over data portability and the import of Google Contacts into Facebook was instigated by Google who last week decided to suddenly change their Google Contacts terms of service. Within days Facebook fought back and developed a workaround Google’s terms. While the tool works, Google has since put up a new page which prompts users with a scary message, alerting them to the horrible behavior of Facebook.
Ultimately there’s no way of telling how many people have actually stumbled across this page in the past day. We believe that most people have probably arrived from the page from a news article covering this battle rather than actually from importing their gmail contacts. The move however is a bold statement by Google which we believe is the pre-battle hype (something which you can learn about in the video below).
Google is preparing for the ultimate fight as the battle over social is not one battle that will be fought in a week, or even a year. The battle over social will be one that we’re still discussing decades from now. Social is who we are and that will never change. In the mean time the media is jumping all over the back and forth in between Google and Facebook.
In the past, Facebook has come up on top. Bringing down Google first in Brazil, and then in India. Google Buzz was also a complete disaster by most pundits’ measurements (even though a decent number of people are still using the service). As Google ramps up to unleash Google Me in the coming weeks, they appear to have a perfectly timed (public) battle with Facebook.