I won’t go into all the ramifications of Facebook’s new social plugins and bid to dominate the interwebs. You can check out the Carrot Creative Blog for a nice little “what it means for you” recap, along with Mashable’s constant, sometimes in depth/sometimes superficial, coverage of the new tools and announcements, as well.

What I’ve noticed is that the tech battles that are currently brewing transcend industry or product. To name a few:

Facebook  vs Twitter vs Foursquare

Facebook vs Google

Google vs Apple

Google vs Microsoft & Yahoo

My question, as such, is – if you were to relegate control of you entire online behavior and identity to one of these dominant entities, which would it be? Which brand engenders trust? Functionality? Personality?

We may not have to actively make this decision in the near future, but we are passively acknowledging its growing preeminence it every time we go online. Sooner or later – and probably sooner, Facebook’s open social graph will collide head on with Google’s open ID, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple launched an alternative – anti-culture – subversive  – nonconformist version of the concept: One ID to rule them all. Add to that the truly independent competition – the open source Wikipedia/Firefox-ish rival.

In fact, it may – and probably will – boil down to what browser you use as your portal to the digiverse – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or the inevitable Facebook Browser that will be the culmination of their efforts to connect the web and infuse Facebook’s presence in every online destination.

So – I ask again – if you had to turn over near-complete control of your online activities to one of these brands – insofar as they will manage you – your email, social activities, functions and features, web browsing, shopping the advertisements you receive, your financial information, etc… to provide a seamless, integrated and unified experience – Who would you trust? Who would you prefer as your Internet partner-in-crime-and-everything-else? I know I trust Google to develop functional tools, I trust Facebook exploits my personal information to create a more socially enhanced experience – even if it is at the cost of my privacy. I trust Apple do design innovative and aesthetically pleasing “things” that boast superior user experience and interface, but may lack in the features/functionality department (Can someone say MULTITASKING?)

Anyway…PLEASE weigh in here and in the comments. Thanks!

  1. Lauren Teicher says:

    David, you are super smart and yummy! I love you! 😉

  2. While I agree with Mrs. A that you are super-smart, I’ll take a pass on the “yummy” praise.

    This is a fascinating topic because each company brings something different to the table. I went back and forth on this before ultimately settling on the unpopular Facebook option.

    Of all Google’s fantastic traits (and there are MANY), they clearly fail on the “social scale.” Granted, Gmail is one of the best web-based email interfaces out there and trumps FB messages.

    However, FB has much more upside as a potential news aggregator than Google does. FB status updates are more intuitive than Google Buzz. FB allows for easier photo and video sharing. FB allows more personal branding and professional networking.

    So….FB it is!

  3. CT says:

    David, I don’t know about the “yummy” part, but you are smart 🙂 mainly for this bit:

    …or the inevitable Facebook Browser that will be the culmination of their efforts to connect the web and infuse Facebook’s presence in every online destination.

    All that said, I had a hard time choosing; I eventually voted for Apple only because it’s the only one I’ve given money to, thus validating the relationship. (Others can judge if cold hard cash constitutes validation.) On the other hand, I was able to eliminate Facebook from my consideration because I’m not on Facebook, and intend never to be — which, in light of the trending, it probably wishful thinking 🙂

  4. google is just too big a beast…

  5. worob says:

    I’m a Google man, myself..

    PR at Sunrise – worob.com

  6. I trust Google more than I do Facebook. There’s just something that rubs me the wrong way about Facebook. Maybe it’s the stories about how Zuckerberg stole the idea for facebook from those other guys, or that facebook keeps changing the TOS and other things.

    I just don’t trust the face book at all.

  7. bianzone says:

    I liked the simplicity of Google, Facebook a place to share and tell stories.
    I still love google for options

  8. sherri haymond says:

    I’m an Apple girl. I currently trust them with my life. But I also trust Google. No one else gets any really personal info from me. Period.

  9. Nora Salem says:

    Interesting post. My computer geek friend will really appreciate this!

    Keep blogging and feel free to check out my blog as well, http://www.norasalemwrites.wordpress.com


  10. While Apple is run by control freaks, they are control freaks I can deal with.

  11. caseyliam4 says:

    I dont trust any of them….at all XD

  12. Andrea says:

    Great post. I am all for Google because I can find anything with Google. I wonder what one did before Google.

  13. Tom Hinerman says:

    I trust delicious, no ads, and truly peer driven. Better links than anywhere.

  14. rubiescorner says:

    Right now I like WordPress because of the blogs, and Facebook for displaying artwork and some writing. I am not familiar with Google.

  15. neurotype says:

    At least Google tries to maintain some semblance of privacy by a) refusing to hand over search records, and b) announcing some of its bigger gaffes. (Who knows what they aren’t telling us.)

    I’m not sure Facebook vs. Google is a good comparison, either. Google is obviously trying to capitalize on social networking, but all in all their strategies are quite different. Or so I’ll think until I see a Facebook OS.

  16. ramonakent says:

    I trust neither…They both have ulterior motives for storing and sharing our personal information…

  17. Barbara says:

    I’m horrified to see that anyone feels that they HAVE to choose one of those options. I’m hoping never to make that choice.

    That being said, I’d trust Apple. I’ve already given them a chunk of my money and I know exactly how they’re going to use my information. They’re going to use it to make more money for themselves. They aren’t going to sell it to the highest bidder who may use it to benefit a competitor.

    Several of the companies that you list pretend that they’re in the humanitarian business (think Google’s “Do no evil” statement) but the exact opposite is true. I trust them the least.

  18. Personally, I simply try to avoid being an open book to anyone in a way that I cannot control. (Guarantees can never be made, but I can at least avoid throwing my data at various services.)

    As for whom to trust the least: Facebook has proven again and again that it utterly disrespects the privacy of its users. The others may still be given at least some benefit of a doubt.

  19. I trust nobody with my information but myself. Free and Open source software FTW!


  20. izziedarling says:

    Apple. Hate Facebook and Google needs to take about 10 years to invent some sort of customer service. So, Apple.

  21. Cookie says:

    Google will always be my top choice for two reasons–Google products work, and the company seems to actually have some shred of morality, a rare thing these days.
    My respect for Google increased tenfold, after the recent debacle with Google China. Based on what I’ve read, they seemed to have had class in every aspect of the way they handled that situation.
    Google products also work. I firmly believe that if Goggle owned Facebook, as they wish, Facebook would be attractive, user friendly, and there wouldn’t be 1000 Facebook groups about how much Facebook sucks. Chrome is the best browser I’ve ever used, hands down. I am also constantly on gmail and reader.

    Good post, David. It obviously got a lot of people thinking.

  22. shane says:

    i trust google… because they are the source of all these stuff on the internet….

  23. Kaushik Biswas says:

    my vote goes for google. and i agree with you facebook sometimes risks our privacy; we have not much control over it all the time.

  24. Nico says:

    Yeah…I was also looking for a “none of the above” option. 🙂

    Google has always seemed vaguely creepy, and there’s no question that Facebook does not care a wit for user privacy.

  25. Breland Kent says:

    I don’t trust any of them but I only use Google.

  26. Danny Brown says:

    Interesting topic, David.

    Like most here, I’d prefer the multi-route approach we have at the minute.


    If I did have to choose, I’d go with Google. Yes, they mess up at times. Yes, their customer service is… wanting, to say the least.

    But from an innovation point of view, as well as how they do business generally, I feel Google has the definite edge over the other guys, for now at least.

    Ask me again in 12 months. 🙂

  27. Kathaleen says:

    I never was a fan of any of them till I got my android phone. If all of google operated like my Droid I would use it for everything. Love the option of open development, (there are some very innovative programs out there) and even my FB posts and news feeds humm on my Droid. I manage office, gmail, live, FB and RSS all on my Droid. Go Google!

  28. I’ll go with Mozilla/any other party. Honestly, I hate one company controlling everything (like Microsoft is with PCs.)

  29. Rick_Byrne says:

    I voted for mozilla etc. But really I would rather none.
    Even now if I have to give out information I use a mix of pseudonyms to hide who I am. Along with putting different ambiguous personal information on each of these companies, and using the services that each company does best without being fully reliant on any.
    As I don’t trust companies to stay afloat forever anyway

  30. Sisyphus says:

    This was really interesting. But yeah, I agree with the previous poster that I would really rather have nobody. Even Google’s been seen to compromise their morals, like they did when they gave Google (censored) to China.

  31. SRK says:

    Facebook all the way. Social media is the new Google.

  32. Jack says:

    I concur with many comments already posted: 1)why do I have to choose?, 2)I would really choose Apple AND Google if possible, 3)actually my REAL preference would be to not choose at all.

  33. Cloud computing is the king. Data servers own you all, no matter which brand/company you go for these days.


  34. ollinmorales says:

    Apple, definitely. They are the most zen, and I like zen. Google can try to do too much sometimes, and its distracting and, just too much. Facebook often scares the crap out of me when they randomly share things I didn’t allow, and make me by default share stuff. Not cool facebook. I find myself deleting and coming back to my account often. They’ve sort of made it impossible for anyone to do without it.

    You know who I would be curious about? Twitter. I love simplicity and straightforwardness, could they create a browser for me that just gives me everything that is relevant to me on the internet in less than 140 words. That would be awesome!

  35. sayitinasong says:

    I am on facebook as everyone else but I would have to say the short answer to that guestion is: Google

  36. If it’s a question of trust, then everyone is going to be disappointed.

    I don’t get hung up about privacy and to be honest, I’m sick of people squealing about this — if you don’t like how your details are being used, don’t share them, it’s that simple. So that deals with trust in one fell swoop.

    If it’s a question of having access to the network with the greatest return on your time (be that the services, the size of the network, or both), then you’re thinking in the right way.

  37. Frank says:

    I’m not sure trusting _anyone_ absolutely is a good idea. Isn’t that where the theory of socialism falls down in practice…

  38. nmw says:

    LOL, I think it’s funny that you compare Google / Facebook / Twitter to Apple / Mozilla / Firefox rather than e.g. WordPress!

    😛 nmw

  39. Google for business, facebook for personal networking – I have experimented with the facebook AD feature but in my experience it has been disappointing.

    Wedding Photographer South Wales

  40. si says:

    this was very interesting

  41. […] Who Do You Trust More: Facebook or Google? « Legends of Aerocles […]

  42. Google by far, they might have some of our info but they don’t use it against us. Facebook is dangerous because they have access to all your photos and let strangers view your profile.

  43. unforgivens says:

    I found your site from the WordPress.com page which has several sites that are strong enough to make the page. Your site is wonderful and beautiful.

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