The company that brought "unfriend" to the American lexicon is slated to become the third largest Web property in the world. As TechCrunch reports, Facebook is growing at an alarming rate. At its current pace, it will surpass Yahoo in the next year for unique monthly visitors. That would put it in third behind Google and Microsoft. On top of that, Facebook's burgeoning advertising model and role as news-sharing platform are promising. Could Facebook become more powerful than Google? Yes--in at least a few ways.

  • Facebook Could Beat Google in Page Views writes Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch: "By other measures, Facebook is already larger than both Yahoo and Microsoft. Its pageviews grew 141 percent last year to 193 billion in December, nearly double Yahoo's 100 billion (down 2 percent) and Microsoft's 109 billion (up 54 percent)...At least Microsoft and Google are still showing respectable growth for their size. But it is not too hard to imagine Facebook catching up to Google here as well."
  • Facebook May Become World's Leading News Hub, writes Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web: "If you publish content on the web and are looking for maximum distribution, you probably know that Facebook is the promised land. The site is about 10 times as big as Digg or Twitter." He goes onto argue why Facebook will be a "world-changing" Internet news source and why it's superior to Google Reader and news aggregator sites:
  • Hundreds of millions of people already use Facebook to keep up with friends and family. It's an interface they know and love. The newsfeed model has been popularized by Facebook and so encouraging news subscription through it will be infinitely easier than trying to get people to use something new.
  • Special messages can be posted directly to readers. Facebook isn't a rigid "publish and subscribe" only channel, it's a broader opportunity for communication than dedicated RSS readers offer. That makes more sense to users and is compelling to publishers.
  • Facebook provides a common area to see all discussion around news. Google Reader added a long list of social features to its service over the past few years but social just turned into clutter and weighed the service down. Social + news in Facebook makes sense.
  • Facebooks Advertising Scheme Will Be as Big as Google's, insists Ned Desmond at Business Insider in November: "Like Google, Facebook first built a runaway success with consumers, and only later backed into money-making products. Like Google, Facebook side-stepped a conventional online advertising model (such as selling display ads) to create one rooted in a derivative of Facebook's core consumer appeal. Google understands what people want, thanks to the proxy of search queries, and Ad Words was built on that knowledge. Facebook, on the other hand, knows who people are, thanks to the information members provide at registration, and Facebook Ads makes it dead simple for all advertisers to exploit that information."