Well, it finally happened. And with the incredible momentum of the last few months, I guess it should come as no surprise. As reported by CNN, Facebook has now edged out Google in total U.S. traffic for the week ending March 13th, as determined by Experian Hitwise.
The article makes a few assertions, but there is one which I really don’t agree with. The Director of Media Relations at Hitwise, Matt Tatham, is quoted as saying, “People want information from friends they trust, versus the the anonymity of a search engine”. Although this statement probably has some truth to it, I don’t think that is the reason that Google was beat out by Facebook for traffic.
I believe people will continue to use Google for search – meaning to FIND information. But I also believe they will continue to use Facebook for what they use Facebook for – and that’s not primarily for the accumulation of information. I believe the huge boost in its popularity has little to do with its ability to replace Google as an information source – and EVERYTHING to do with its ability to connect people.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think this portends bad times for Google. What I do think it shows is two things: 1. people are accepting of online connection/communication and 2. Facebook does a great job of delivering that.
As a veteran internet professional, I’m very excited about this.