Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has made it known that their goal is to "destroy Google". They compare themselves to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), as they should, and see an opportunity to bury their competitor. There are obvious advantages that Facebook has currently, and will have once they go public.
Facebook has much more information on their customers than Google. Facebook knows exactly how old you are, where you live, marital status, what you like, where you live, and even what your friends like. Moreover, every one of Facebook's customers willingly gave the company that information all for the sake of "enhancing their experience". Google only knows what you typically search for. When Facebook goes public and inevitably buys Bing from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), they will be able to integrate the information their clients gave them into a seamless search engine. People will still use Google at first because its what they're used to, but they will soon switch to Facebook for all of their search needs.
Google's major revenue driver is ad revenue from small businesses. With Facebook having over 901 million monthly users and growing, small business can't afford to miss that advertising angle. The target marketing the Facebook offers through it's site is far superior to Google's, and small business owners eat that up with a spoon. A business simply having a Facebook page allows them free advertising with all "Likes" and "Shares" being posted on their fans' Timelines. With an economy that is going to take years to be robust again, businesses are going to have to choose where to market more selectively. For the foreseeable future, companies can't afford to advertise everywhere they want to. When they have to choose between the two powerhouses in the marketing industry, businesses will choose Facebook.
When Facebook goes public, they will receive a huge cash infusion into the company. That will free them up to start making acquisitions. Bing, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), RIM (RIMM), and Ebay (NASDAQ:EBAY) are all ripe takeover targets for them.
Bing and Yahoo allow Facebook further search and customer services dominance. Bing is on the selling block from Microsoft. It has been a cash drain on the company since conception, and Microsoft would be more than happy to get the failed enterprise of it's books. Yahoo has been in talks for over a year about going private. They have had some serious issues over the past couple of years that have put their business model in question recently.
RIM would allow Facebook a way to beat Google to put out their own phone, and not just an operating system for mobile products. RIM is struggling to keep their customers. Their product has become outdated, shareholders are calling for the resignation of senior management, and the company seems to be in a tailspin. A sale of the company, or at least their patents seems inevitable.
Ebay would allow Facebook to take over the cash cow PayPal, which would allow Facebook an effective monopoly over the exploding mobile gaming industry. While Ebay is definitely the "dark horse" takeover target, it makes logistical sense for Facebook to target them. Ebay is a thriving company that would draw a heavy premium on any type of buyout. There is no talk anywhere on Wall St. about this happening, but if Facebook wants to monetize their company even further with the mobile gaming market this would be the company to target.
Facebook also hasn't truly figured out how to monetize itself yet, while Google is squeezing every penny they can out of their business. Facebook has only recently started showing ads on their mobile platforms. Its such an extraordinary tool for businesses and individuals alike. Yet, they allow free sign-up for everyone. At some point they will most likely charge a monthly fee for non individual pages (i.e. businesses, non profit organizations, groups, etc.), and those pages won't be able to say no to it. Businesses can't afford to be deprived of free advertising to over 901 million viewers each month. The Facebook page is slowly replacing the need for businesses to have an individual website as well. Why pay for a tech genius to run a website and deal with glitches, when you could host it for free on Facebook? Businesses could reallocate that money to someone who can program their Facebook page, as well as market the page on a daily basis.
In my previous article on Seeking Alpha, I stated that Facebook is the "Ford of our generation". Ford didn't invent the car, he just made it better. That is exactly what Facebook is doing with the internet and marketing. Look at all the options Facebook has in front of it now. Don't be blown away by a $100 billion market cap. This company is still in its infancy. Bing will add $40 billion worth of business to Facebook's projected 2014 revenue of $18 billion. Those numbers alone make the $100 billion market cap a little more than 2x earnings. Don't forget that Facebook is still growing at over a 45% clip, and doesn't see a slow down in that growth rate in the next year or two. It really is scary to think of what Facebook could accomplish in the business world. So long as their shareholders, board members, and top executives can stop Zuckerberg from paying $1 billion for companies with 13 employees and no tangible revenue (Instagram) again, they could easily become the world's most valuable company in the next ten to twenty years.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.