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Facebook takes on Google with mobile questions

The mobile Internet is quite a different beast from is bigger brother, PC Internet and although there are numerous similarities between the two, it is getting increasingly harder to argue that they are one and the same.
Having said that, the numbers clearly show that when it comes to most visited sites, users are definitely dragging the world of PC onto the smaller mobile screen, with Facebook and uber popular search engine, Google, taking the lead.
With the recent launch of Facebook Questions, however, the social network may prove to become a larger and more valuable information resource to mobile users than Google, its top mobile rival.

Though Google has professed a passion to personalize the mobile world for its users – with the likes of Android, Google Voice etc – the search engine giant has thus far failed to come out with its long rumored Google Me social network, which promises to blur the lines between search and social networking.
Unlike on the PC, on mobile, searches are typically much more focused and less general, with users attempting to find answers as fast as they can, rather than the meandering search browsing that tends to occur on the PC.
To a certain extent, Facebook Questions is the mobile answer to Google’s search engine, leaving the algorithms aside and letting real people answer your question directly.

Of course, it’s hardly a new idea, being one that Internet startup Cha-Cha has managed to do quite successfully for well over a year now. Indeed, the firm, which offers “answers on your cell phone anytime for free” has managed to raise over $69 million so far.
The difference, however, is that far more people have heard of and use Facebook – both on their PC and mobile – than Cha-Cha, thereby taking Facebook Questions to a whole new level of helpfulness even in its initial stages.
That’s not to say Google couldn’t come out with something better, especially seeing as the firm’s algorithms are vastly more sophisticated than either Facebook’s or Cha-Cha’s.
But is people power going to prove to be a more mobile success than a bunch of Google algorithms? It remains to be seen. But while Google should certainly watch out now that Facebook seems to be grabbing the mobile bull by the horns, one can never discount Google. Facebook Questions? Bah! Anyone for Android Answers?


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