Google, the world’s largest search engine, will continue to dominate Facebook in search capabilities and expand in many areas over the next few years, analyst Steven Weinstein told CNBC Friday.
Weinstein added that it’s fairly recent that companies understand the impact of a search engine on their business and that now they are creating content so that it can be found by a Google search.
His comments came in light of finding by market research firm ComScore.comthat reported that web users spent more time in August on Facebook—41.1 million minutes—than on Google—39.8 million minutes. Yahoo came in third at 37.7 million minutes.
“People use the two sites for very different reasons,” said Weinstein of Pacific Credit Securities, who gives Google a buy rating.
“Facebook can be a very interesting site for social communication, and certainly for discovery of new items, but when there’s a real intent to find a particular piece of information or a particular thing to buy, which is where the money is really made ... people still tend to favor search.”
However, Lou Kerner, a social media analyst for Wedbush Securities, disagreed with Weinstein, saying that Facebook will be a major player in search and that its model has changed other websites. He gives Google an underperform rating.
“Facebook is really a platform,” said Kerner. “The more exciting [aspect] is that more than 1.5 million websites around the world have deployed the Facebook-like button. For instance, you go to Amazon.com , you can see when your friends’ birthdays are coming up and what they like [for gifts].”
Weinstein said the relevance of social media was the most “overhyped, probably ever.” He maintained that because two people are “friends” on Facebook doesn’t mean they are going to buy the same goods or services or be influenced by one another to do so.