Will ‘Gmail Killer’ be the beginning of the end for Google?

Gmail killerGoogle has made so many changes to its search engine service recently, some of which you may even like.

However the biggest change to Google’s future seems to have come from Facebook, with the announcement of its long anticipated email service – or “Gmail killer” as Facebook insiders have liked to call it internally. This will come with email addresses on the @facebook.com domain and is officially called “Project Titan”.

This will have major repercussions on the online assets and the time we all spend on certain domains. Furthermore it could affect the entire way we all use the internet. As Facebook breaks every traffic record at almost a monthly rate, will this mean that we spend more and more time on Facebook and therefore less on Google?

Which sites do we spend most time on?

Facebook has been the site we spend “on average” most of our time on for over a year now and a clear winner over sites such as Google or Yahoo – (Yahoo is a whole different entity in the US to the rest of Europe) this is shown in the Nielsen US traffic chart below. With 160 million monthly users Google won’t be that worried yet, but is this the sign of things to come?

Whats sites do we spend most time on

How long do people spend on Facebook, Google and Yahoo?

Comscore give a slightly different measurement, but Facebook is still first when it comes to the total amount of time users are spending on the site.

US WEB USERS August 2010

  1. Facebook: 41.1 million minutes per month, which was about 9.9% of their entire web-surfing time.
  2. Google sites (including YouTube and Gmail) 39.8 million minutes 9.6% of their web-usage time
  3. Yahoo: 37.7 million minutes on its sites, which was about 9.1% of their web surfing time.

In July Facebook announced it had more than 500 million active users, but YouTube announced around the same time it had 1 billion subscriptions. Mark Zuckerburg predicts his social network site will eventually reach 1 billion users soon, and with Russia and China currently untapped, there is no reason why that shouldn’t be the case. See here for Facebook Usage by Country

With this new Facebook Email @Facebook.com, the social network is going to really dig in to the email market that Google has a big share of. However, whilst we are uploading photos and writing on people’s walls, why would we want to log-in to Google to send an email too? Facebook has gained a lot since the advent of Facebook “Like” and Google’s failed attempts at Google Buzz means that they need to re-think the social side of their service.

Google itself denies it is building a social networking platform to compete with Facebook. Instead, chief executive Eric Schmidt says it plans to add “layers” of social networking to its products. Either way this is a worrying stat for Google, and with all their self-imposed changes to the search engine, is this the road to demise?