No 2 - Facebook is not “part of the plumbing”
Facebook. The ‘social network’ has nearly a billion members – but its threads are more like gossamer than copper wiring. The level of engagement is massive but thin, and people are fickle. MySpace, Yahoo and AOL became virtual road kill when people decided to change favorites. But for now the glue that binds Facebook is the friend network itself. “People don’t want to switch off and lose all their friends,” Pachter said. That will add a measure of protection, but AOL and MySpace had high membership rolls that proved less than essential.
Google. With one million-plus servers, it is the nerve center of the global online economy, and everyone who makes money online needs to use it. It is the gateway to the Internet, and it is ‘virtually wired’ to everyone because it can measure and track traffic movements and engagement on millions of sites and billions of paid clicks each day.
What it might mean to shareholders. Google’s dominance in Internet commerce has attracted the attention of antitrust regulators around the world, and that is a concern for investors. Facebook is dominant in social media. But there is no law against being popular. People opt-in to the service, which is a key difference from the issues faced by a Google, or Microsoft before that, since Google's metrics and ad-linking software are essential for millions of publishers globally. By comparison, suing Facebook for antitrust would be like suing Seinfeld for dominating TV ratings all those years.