Google and Facebook Positioning Themselves For The Mobile Future

(courtesy of

Companies that are known for their superior applications on the Internet may soon be creating a bigger presence in the physical world.  Just last week, Google completed its purchase of Motorola, a move that many believe will pave the way for a line of Google powered smart phones.

In 2011, Google released its Nexus phone.  This recent purchase will make for greater development of smart phones and possibly give Google the pieces necessary to compete with Apple.  It will give Google access to over 20,000 patents.  Although some think Google has aspirations to become a direct competitor of Apple, some feel the purchase of Motorola could primarily be used to ward off current lawsuits from Apple and Microsoft.

It’s not only Google that is looking to get in the smart phone business.  According to a recent story in the New York Times, Facebook is also interested in creating a smart phone of its own.  They’ve reportedly hired several former Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone.

So the question must be asked:  Why are these companies known for their online presence trying to expand into the world of hardware?

Above is a chart that shows the sites/apps that are most accessed on smart phones. Google and Facebook are the top two.

For Facebook, the motivation is clear.  Now that it’s a public company, it must try and create new sources of revenue.  The timing of this report is interesting as well, as General Motors just pulled advertising from the social media site.

Although I don’t have any scientific evidence to back it up, I feel that many companies are realizing something that I’ve felt for years now.  Advertising on these social sites isn’t very effective.  I’m sure there are studies that may attempt to disprove this, but I’ve never willingly clicked on an ad on Facebook, and have rarely clicked on a “sponsored” link on Google.  It’s not a surprise to me that these companies are looking at other methods of creating steady revenue.

If Facebook were to create a phone, there is a possibility that certain applications of the popular social media site may only work on the new phone.  Would having 100% mobile functionality of Facebook go into your decision of a smart phone purchase?  Facebook may be banking that a chunk of its nearly one billion users won’t be able to resist a phone tailored to the Facebook addict.

One thing is for sure, as technologies continue to expand, companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon will continue to battle for a piece of the market, and only more crossovers will occur in the future.

Sam Plymale


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