It seems like the number of areas in which Facebook and Google are directly competing is increasing every week, and if the two companies were to start an all-out war with each other, Google would definitely have the advantage. Considering how the majority of Facebook’s userbase, as well as the userbases of its standalone services, are on Android, the only thing Google would need to do in order to deal a massive blow to the company would be to remove its apps from the Play Store. That’s a scenario that’s extremely unlikely, but one that Facebook wants to be ready for, just in case. The plan is actually pretty simple, as it boils down to just releasing alternatives to Google’s cloud services.
A new report sheds light on Facebook’s doomsday scenario: getting kicked off the Play Store. The Information’s Amir Efrati reports that Facebook has been weighing its options in case a conflict with Google results in the removal of Facebook apps from the Play Store. To be clear, there is no imminent threat of Facebook being excluded from Google’s app store. The relationship between Google and Facebook – the largest and most important app developer on Android – is said to be pleasant, at least on the surface. Nevertheless, a tension reportedly exists between the two Internet giants, caused by their conflicting business imperatives. Facebook wants more freedom to implement features and is worried about its dependency on Google’s API infrastructure. Google is serving billions of notifications for Facebook and may eventually decide it wants to be remunerated for its trouble. One measure that Facebook has reportedly considered in the eventuality of a war with Google is the creation of alternatives to Google’s cloud services, targeted at devices that are sold without Google’s stamp of approval in China and other countries. This includes the infrastructure for delivering notifications, making payments, and downloading and installing apps and updates. Facebook could even host its own app store for other developers, though according to The Information, the social company isn’t really interested in doing that.