Facebook Inc has decided to allow Alphabet Inc to index information from its Android mobile app. The agreement between the two tech giants will result in Google mobile searches displaying content from Facebook’s app, including public profile info. Google has been striving hard to keep its search engine relevant in the growing landscape of mobile apps. The latest deal should boost those efforts.
Google is already indexing from Web Facebook profiles. However, just like the Web, Google can’t show content that is shared privately. That can only be viewed through Facebook’s search service.
Alphabet Accelerates Mobile Thrust
The majority of Google’s growing ad revenue is tied to Web searches. But that bustling ad empire is under threat as people spend more time on mobile devices.
Alphabet Inc built its $500 billion mega market cap by becoming the almost exclusive starting point on the Web. But on smart phones, apps are the primary gateways. Data from comScore show that mobile users in the U.S. spend 87% of their time in apps, versus 13% on Web browsers.
Alphabet realized it had to do something to remain useful to the smart phone user. It has been scrambling to strike deals like the one agreed with Facebook Inc . But the tough part is that it has to go app by app to penetrate the mobile world. Facebook is by far the biggest catch. It also recently signed a deal with Twitter to show tweets directly in mobile searches.
“In mobile their position as the online starting point is at risk,” Chris Maddern of app discovery firm Button, said. “If people lose faith that they will find things they need by searching on Google, that’s bad for the company. Anything Google can do to maintain that position is good.”
Alphabet’s revenue this year from each ad click has dropped 10%, largely because mobile ads aren’t as valuable as those on PC. So far, the firm has managed to more than offset that hit by making people search more. But with changing consumer habits, and shift to mobile, Alphabet needs more such deals to remain the one-stop destination for everything.
Facebook looks for value in Alphabet
Facebook Inc deciding to let Google inside its app suggests the social networking giant sees some value in the partnership. That could include more users being directed to the Facebook mobile app after following a Google search.
“When people search for public Facebook content on the mobile web, those who use Facebook for Android can now click through and go straight to the Facebook app,” the social network said in an emailed statement.
Shares of Facebook Inc closed Monday at $104.04. Alphabet Inc ’s stock ended yesterday’s trading at $728.84.