Facebook Should Build Their Own Browser? I Do Not Think So

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 14, 2012
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook, Google

Ben Parr over at Cnet believes that Google will eventually win the social networking battle against Facebook thanks to the success of the company's Google Chrome web browser.  The argument goes something like this: With Chrome becoming the most popular browser on the Internet in the next twelve or so months, and a feasible integration of Google+ in the browser, comes Google's chance of taking the number one social networking spot from Facebook.

While it is debatable if and when Chrome will take over Internet Explorer's top spot, it is likely that the browser will stay near the top web browser market share. The release of Windows 8 could reverse the trend somewhat, and with Mozilla finally bringing Firefox back on the right track, it is not clear how things will turn out between the three browsers.

It is also not clear if Google will integrate their social networking service Google+ into the browser natively. While it possible that they will do that at one point in time, it is as possible that they won't integrate the service into the browser.

The integration of Google+ in Chrome would surely increase the social networking site's user base. But it is not clear by how much, as it would depend on a number of factors. First how Google would integrate their service into the browser. If it is too annoying, tit could irritate the user base that does not want the integration in the browser. If it is barely visible, it might not get the traction to take Facebook's coveted number one spot.

Ben's solution nevertheless is that Facebook should create a Facebook browser. He does not believe that an integration into Microsoft's Internet Explorer (Firefox does not get mentioned at all) would help Facebook as it would not be a "game-changing move".

Creating their own browser would be a major undertaking even for a company like Facbeook. It took Google nearly three years to get where they are now with the Chrome browser, and that was largely due to the excessive cross-promotion of the browser on other Google properties. Chrome would have taken off either way, but the market share would not be anywhere near where it is now without the promotion.

To succeed, Facebook would have to create a browser that would be compatible on a technology level. It is not enough to create a browser that users can use to visit and use Facebook. The browser would have to compete on all levels and that does not seem feasible at this point in time as the company would be hard pressed to assign the development resources to such a big project.

Lets assume for a moment that Google does integrate Google+ into Chrome, and that Facebook has not created its own browser. Does that mean that Facebook users will use the social networking site less than before because of the integration? Unless Google blocks users from accessing Facebook in the browser, or displays a message that promotes Google+ whenever they do, it is unlikely that it will impact Facebook's market share.

And even if Google+ gets additional users, it does not really mean that those users won't be on Facebook as well.

Facebook lastly has other options to stand its ground. From integration into Windows 8 (for instance as a prominent tile in the operating system's new Metro start screen), to a cooperation with Mozilla.

What's your take on the suggestion?


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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, https://www.ghacks.net/2023/03/31/whats-gif-explanation-and-how-to-use-it/#comment-4562919 (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

    1. E. Fromme said on September 29, 2023 at 1:32 pm

      EMRE ÇITAK posts are useless because they are fraught with inaccuracies and are irrelevant.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IYl1sTIOHI

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/09/how-to-send-gifs-on-iphone-two-different-ways/]. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current ghacks.net is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, ghacks.net has changed in quality.
    >> ghacks.net/2023/09/02/microsoft-is-removing-wordpad-from-windows/#comment-4573130
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    >> ghacks.net/2023/08/31/in-windows-11-the-line-between-legitimate-and-adware-becomes-increasingly-blurred/#comment-4573117
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin: ghacks.net##.hentry,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))
    >> ghacks.net/2023/09/01/windows-11-development-overview-of-the-august-2023-changes/#comment-4573033

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.
    >> github.com/martinrotter/rssguard#readme

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

  9. sean conner said on September 27, 2023 at 6:21 am

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