(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)
Facebook has taken down an app developer’s ads promoting this Google+ account and promptly banned his other ads on the social networking site, as the tussle for control of the Internet heats up between the online giants.
According to reports over the weekend, Michael Lee Johnson had put up an ad telling fellow Facebook users to visit his Google+ page, where he claimed to be an “Internet geek, app developer (and) technological virtuoso”. But a few days later, Facebook yanked his ads out, saying that he had flouted their terms and conditions.
Facebook also said he was banned from advertising on the social networking site, in a cryptic e-mail that is now circulating over the Internet:
And so the app developer’s story has become the latest in a deepening saga between the two Internet giants.
Why are they at each other? Facebook sells the most display ads in the United States now, and is set to collect US$2 billion in ad revenues this year and grab 20 per cent of the market. Google, once the online ad king, is obviously not happy to stand idly by. And in Google+, it seems to have finally found an alternative to make Facebook sit up – or start resorting to some anti-competitive behaviour.
Launching its new service just weeks ago, Google had signed up more than 10 million users in no time and had to temporarily stop invitations to join. Though it is still a long way off Facebook’s expected 750 million users, the search giant has not come this close to upsetting the social media network king for years.
The next year or so will be interesting to see if Google manages to leverage on its e-mail, maps and search services to knock Facebook off the perch. Lest Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg forgets, that’s how fast things change with social media. Remember MySpace?