The war between Facebook and Google wages on. This time, instead of just offering something that Facebook does not or something way worse, Google is taking the “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” approach. Could Google + be the first thing to give Facebook a run for its money?
The main difference in Google’s project is that it offers its social networking service via groups – meaning you know longer have to show your interest in adorable cat videos via posting it publicly on a fellow ailurophile’s wall. Instead, you can keep that video somewhat private by sending and sharing it with a select group: coworkers, high school friends, real friends, anyone you like. You can even group video-chat, called the Hangout feature, and get updates from others without being their “friend”.
However, Google + may be too little too late. Facebook has been the leading social networking site for years and everyone knows it, including advertisers. With the increase in social media participation we are in constant communication. Now instead of asking Google for restaurant recommendations, you Tweet it and your friends will pick one for you – and much of this info is barred from Google’s search. Needless to say this does not make them very happy. Data analysts have even shown that although Google gets a fair amount of hits in comparison to Facebook their users now spend significantly less time on their site (blame Farmville, for sure).
In addition to these obstacles there is the problem of crossover. Experts have said it is extremely unlikely that the Facebook community would duplicate their friends on Google + and make the switch. Instead they might use it for niche connections and group communication only – for instance, I for one would love to use it to organize apartment supplies with my soon-to-be roommates, and Google + could do that easily.
But will we all switch over? Probably not. Facebook is just too big right now. Unfortunately for Google their innovation may not be enough to completely change the social media game. But if they keep trying maybe it will eventually work out. I mean it worked for Google Buzz right? Oh wait…