Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Facebook to take on Google

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanJuly 15, 2009 10:40 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Wired had a long piece on Facebook's attempt to challenge Google. The gist seems to be that just as Google revolutionized the way search was done via PageRank, so Facebook will revolutionize search though results generated via one's personal "Social Graph." I'm generally skeptical of this idea in relation to Facebook, though my skepticism has more to do with the assumption that the value of a social network declines as it becomes less exclusive. In the Wired piece the author suggests that Facebook has reached the penetration at which positive feeback loops begin to occur. Perhaps. But it seems that the bigger Facebook gets, to the point where most of the "internet" is on Facebook, the less of one's personal information one is going to put out there. In other words, I believe that the amount of valuable social information will begin to rise far slower than the number of people who are on Facebook because many joiners will join simply to view other people's profiles as opposed to putting themselves out there, at which point others may begin to mimic that sort of free-riding behavior.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In