January 5, 2023

The browser wars are back: Google vs Bing vs You.com

Cue Nirvana. Let's travel back to the 1990s... 

The 1990s was a wild time.

Heroin addict look was da thing in fashion. 

The TV show Friends just got started. And none of the sextet had done plastic surgery yet.

And the internet was in such baby shoes that there was a thing called "browser wars" happening.

Microsoft and Netscape, (+some others) were competing on who will become the go-to browser of the masses. 

But inside that war, there was another conflict. Search engine wars. 

(Compared to the war in Ukraine, small-boy stuff. Fck Russia, btw)

There was Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, Lycos, AltaVista, WebCrawler, a lot of less-known names + ofc, a late comer, Google.

Long story short, Google won it. 

If you want to read exactly why, go Google it, here are some good pieces. [Delicious read 1, delicious read 2, delicious read 3]

TLDR; Google won because it had a superior experience. 

It was sparking fast, it crawled & indexed information in a different way, and it was super duper clean. There were no banner ads. There were no distractions.

It was built to be solely one thing. To be a portal to high-quality information. 

Ever since they’ve dominated the search, there have been many Google killers from Bing to Reddit to Tiktok. None of them have really threatened them.

But the launch of ChatGPT seems to have crawled under their skin (It made Google call a "code red" crisis meeting).

And we wonder what's going on there now as ChatGPT will soon integrate with Bing

But a startup called You.com is also trying to be a google killer. (#socute)

They launched in 2021 with the promise of making searching private. And they’ve raised 45 million so far. 

But we wonder whether anyone told them that people don’t care about privacy (wink-wink, hint: TikTok)

Now they launched YouChat.

Which is very similar to ChatGPT. (Maybe the privacy angle was a cover after all).

But It claims to be better in a very specific way.

As it solves a big problem ChatGPT has - referring to the source of information.

With YouChat you can still ask questions, write poems, solve code, have fun convos. 

But when it pulls information from the web, it can refer you to the sources.

And you can always ask it, “where did you get that information, old sport”

Is this the thing Bing X ChatGPT will strive to do as well? 

However, when you go to their home page (you.com) you’ll notice a huge problem. 

Something that Google actually solved when they came to the market. 

There’s so much going on. And it’s hard to tell what da fck it is.

Marketing fundamentals say that new (innovative) products need to be easily graspable. 

So people can put it into a box. You.com seems to be everything.

A search engine, code writer, image generator, and as noisy as Times Square. 

You can even shop on the site. Should Bezos be scared? 

This is the exact opposite of how Google entered the market.

And you.com doesn’t feel like a search engine or a "portal to information". But like a SaaS tool. 

Also, the other use cases don’t seem that good - we tried generating some images, wasn’t in any way better than Dall-e.

They should hone in on what they want to be best at and do that. This is how the greats got started.

So they should do chat with sources.

People want information. They want it faster than ever before. 

Currently, you.com is a feature, not a product. And with a bad experience. 

But showing the sources where the answers are from might be exactly the thing ChatGPT is missing. (Until their Bing integration?)

Of course, we don’t know what’s in Google’s closet… Let’s hope they release their beast in 2023. Their distribution machine is just massive. 

Vixus is a mediatech content hub covering stories from generative AI to VR and beyond.

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