You may think you know all there is to know about marketing via social media, but new developments are in the pipeline that may make you want to reconsider your strategy. First, Facebook has already started rolling out its “Buy” button, which lets its users buy things directly from the site, and it will implement it on a broader scale in 2016, but its main change will be more of a direct slash at Google. Yes, the search engine wars are about to heat up, again, only this time with Facebook and Google locked in combat.
Facebook plans on releasing a new search engine, which, according to Vilner, “…has plans to go far beyond the search capabilities of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.” What this means is anyone’s guess, but the smart bet is that Facebook will use a convergence strategy to seamlessly tie in shopping, searching, and socializing all on one site, eliminating the need for virtually all other sites.
Will Google take this lying down? Probably not. As Seth Rand of Business.com states, “As of October 2015, Google far surpassed the search engine traffic of its major competitors, Bing, and Yahoo, with 63.9 percent of all Internet search traffic. Bing was used for 20.8 percent of all searches in 2015 and Yahoo rounding out the bottom of the market share with 12.5 percent of all search engine traffic.” With Google virtually owning two-thirds of the search market, their empire is not likely to crumble easily, but Facebook’s imminent launch of its search service is an interesting development, and it’ll be fun to see how it plays out.
Again, however, the folks at Facebook underline the main theme for 2016: integrated functionality on their site, where their users buy, talk about, like, and search for more of the same products that are exclusively geared towards them in a micro advertising environment because of accurate data—data that has been allowed to collect because of years of trust between Facebook and its users. Even if Facebook’s search engine is a relative failure (which it probably won’t be, considering their track record for rollouts in the past), the enhanced functionality of their site brought about because of their “Buy” button will be enough to make them a key part of any online strategy.