Regardless of your opinion of the latest Facebook changes, it's clear that Facebook has every intent on owning the social space and they are going about it with laser like focus. According to Jim Collins, author of the seminal book Good to Great, this narrow focus is exactly what's needed for Facebook to achieve Collin's definition of greatness - financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period of time.
Comparitively, Facebook's competitor, Google, continues to dabble not only in social but also in energy, maps, cars, and now - handsets. Reviewing Facebook and Google's acquisitions over the past year shows Facebook's concentration on design and user experience while Google's additions are more varied. Perhaps the question Google should ask is what, exactly, it wants to be when it grows up. Or better yet - what it wants to be good at.
As Facebook arguably moves to greatness, where is Google moving? Increasingly, there appears to be growing sentiment for a better Google (i.e. better search) and, at least in some camps, a desire for a more honest Google. After all, should the first organic link in a Google search for "market" be a link to Android Market? Is Google still the best in the world at search? Does Google still offer a single point of truth?
As inbound marketers, our first job is to understand these technological changes and consider the impacts on our client's audience. Look at the tools, look at the data and importantly, regardless of the technology you choose to facilitate your clients' goals, remember that you are hired to achieve results and obtain ROI, not play with fancy technology.