On the surface, Google Places and Facebook Places would seem to have a lot in common.
Both services are out to create a landing page for every local business in the world.
Both services allow local merchants to â€œclaimâ€ their pages, giving the merchant some editorial control over content on the page.
And both services no doubt expect to grab a chunk of what is projected to be a $32B digital, local advertising market by 2013 by claiming the middleman position between the merchant and the end user.
But where the two services break from each other â€“ and in a non-trivial way â€“ is in their respective distribution strategies.
Google relies on Search. Â Facebook relies on Social.
And this is where things start to get interesting.