For many web users, Google is their default home page. Which gives Google a huge advantage. It enables Google in a sense to define our experience of the web on Google’s terms, by following and using their process and apps, etc.
That could be about to change, as Facebook is planning to ask users to make the social network their default home page. This is clearly designed to drive more traffic to Facebook at the expense of Google.
According to some analysts, Facebook already has about six per cent of home pages in the US. So it is a long way to go before it catches up with Google.
Still, the prize of being the gateway to the web is well worth the battle. Google execs always say, when challenged on their dominance, that the opposition is just a click away. Never was that more true.
From a company perspective though, if Facebook was to succeed, then that would bring significant cultural changes. If Facebook becomes the dominant gateway, its applications, and the way of information sharing it encourages, could become the dominant form of online engagement.