Why Google Should Fear the Social Web

gigaompro Google made a number of announcements last week, including one that will see it partner with San Francisco-based Twitter to get paid access to the micromessaging service’s data feed. The company also said it would launch a social search effort as part of Google Labs. The moves got me thinking about some of the challenges that Google will face in coming years, especially from Facebook. I’ve outlined them for our subscription research service, GigaOM Pro, in Why Google Should Fear the Social Web.

The growing pervasiveness of fixed and wireless broadband will impact how we create and consume information. Thanks to that pervasive connectivity, there will be an explosion of information, which will make it difficult to find the information we actually want. Google, despite its obvious infrastructure advantages, faces a tough job of sifting through these proverbial mountains of data. Unless, of course, the Mountain View, Calif., based search giant starts embracing concepts quite alien to its DNA, such as the social web.

While it may currently be unfashionable to question Google’s long-term chances, the fact is that the growing influence of Facebook will pose a major risk to Google’s 10 blue links-based business model. The social networking site introduced new features today that allow it to extend its influence (or tentacles) even further across the web and in the process, further shift the focus away from search to discovery — discovery that uses your social graph.

The popularity of social media discovery services is reflected in this image, which comes courtesy of Reddit: