Google+: Should Facebook Be Trembling in Their Boots?

One major thing Google+ has going for it is the benefit of hindsight. They can simply look back at all the glaring mistakes that Facebook has made, and...well...make the same mistakes in cooler ways.

Google+ gives people the ability to start afresh...reimagine their social networking...basically, add friends with more discrimination. Same goes for uploading content (comments, 'likes', pictures, places one visits...etc).

Google also probably has the resources (even if not mindset) to limit the abuse of the right hand column of their pages with sponsored ads and 'friend' suggestions of the Orwellian order.

They have the 20/20 hindsight of not describing all human relationships with the word 'Friend' and then limiting the number to only 5000. The truth is, Facebook already gave users the ability to compartmentalize their relationships with lists, so G+ isn't doing anything new in that regard...but they have not abused the words 'Friend' and 'Like', and that seemingly insignificant consideration goes a longer way than we think...but not long enough.

Google+ is no Facebook least not yet. It will take quite a while for people to be so upset with FB that they migrate all their accounts and info. FB's power comes from the fact that most of the computer-literate world is connected to it. It is a fleeting advantage in this day and age, but it is one not lost overnight. FB has enough time to get their act together...or do they?

G+ doesn't really need to build connections from the start. While I did need an invite to G+ because the product is still in Beta mode...waitaminute, all Goolgle's products are forever in Beta mode, but I digress. While I needed an invite to the forum, I didn't need to create a new account. I was already in their 'Matrix'. If you didn't sign up for GMail, you signed up for YouTube, if you didn't sign up for YouTube, you signed up for a Blogger account or a Docs account. They have their tentacles in so many pies you're bound to have nibbled on their bait at some point.

It took a quite a while for GMail to show Yahoo up (better spam protection, less annoying ads, free mail forwarding, connection to a gargantuan network, etc) but if Google has shown us anything, it is that they believe so much in their core business (Search Engine Marketing) that they have lots of time and money to 'throw away' (or invest, depending on who you ask).

I have a strong feeling that third time's the charm for Google as far as social networking is concerened...but that does not mean Facebook will be Hi5ed or My_____ed. I never get the impression that Google is in a hurry to be number one in any particular service except visibility and effectiveness of their ad placements online. The reason they enter other sectors is to prevent other entities from attaining absolute monopolies...which could potentially compromise access to or use of their core products. Whenever any of their forays are a hit, it's just icing on the cake.

Google promoted Android phones not to kill the iPhone, but to provide users with options, and reduce Apple's potential for a stranglehold in the sector. The internet was moving to mobile devices and Google had a huge stake in ensuring that as many people as possible have access to the internet. Nobody is as well-positioned to benefit from proliferation of the internet like Google is.

I doubt that Facebook is so dumb that they will sit on their hands while Google attempts to butcher their cash cow. They will match Google, app for app and gimmick for gimmick (just like the iPhone became more affordable and available on more networks) but Google won't care. They won't care, because that's all they want in the first increase the likelihood that people will use their core products!


  1. In the wake of Google plus, Facebook has improved their privacy settings to better match Google. That fulfills one of the predictions I made in the post above.

  2. Facebook's 'Subscribe' feature is further fulfillment of my prediction.

  3. Facbook's photo hosting now matches that of Google plus. The battle continues.


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