And war has begun: Facebook slammed Google’s Chrome browser today with the above unsupported web browser message [cache], which recommended Opera, among others, as a better alternative for viewing the social network.

FavBrowser first discovered the change and noted Facebook’s rumored plans to acquire Opera. This is noteworthy, because Google+ is Facebook’s direct competitor. The infant Google service is tackling Facebook head-on with its executives consistently criticizing Facebook, like when CEO Larry Page accused Facebook of holding users hostage last week. Only now it appears the back-talking has turned into actions, because Facebook no longer recommends Chrome to its nearly 1 billion active users.

According to StatCounter, Chrome passed Internet Explorer during the week of May 14 to May 20 to become the most popular browser in the world. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still has a commanding lead in the United States, but growth for Chrome is steadily increasing in regions like South America, India, and Europe. The browser also surpassed Internet Explorer, although for just a day, in March. These statistics indicate that Chrome is too large for Facebook to ignore.

Meanwhile, Google’s CEO Larry Page said in a statement to investors in April that the company’s own social network Google+ now has more than 100 million active users, which is up from 90 million total users in January. To him, the network is an integral product that will help Google bring the next generation of search to life. Despite these bold goals, Facebook still reins king in the social network market with its nearly 10 times larger userbase.

Facebook is also nipping at Google’s heels in terms of unique visits in the United States. According to research firm Nielsen, 171.3 million unique U.S. people visited Google websites in April, which earned the search engine the No. 1 Web Brand crown for that month. Facebook came in second place with 151.5 million. Interestingly, Facebook managed to hold each person’s attention roughly five hours longer. So, what do these numbers mean?

Facebook rules social. Google rules web. And both want to invade each other’s space. Google plans to do so with Google+, while Facebook is preparing for battle with an alleged Opera acquisition. This cutthroat competition only means one thing…war.

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