With Google’s latest attempt at online social interaction being accepted well and showing signs of success, the ‘plus’ is going to shake up many ‘more’ things than just Facebook’s monopoly in the arena. Apart from shaking Facebook’s confidence by its lapels, Google Plus is poised to impact different aspects of the online socio-business landscape, which wowElle intend to cover in this series.
With estimates showing Google almost touching 10 million users at time of writing this, despite a controlled access to its plus service, Facebook is already showing signs of panic and recoup. Since the launch, Facebook has already blocked more than one service and app which allows users to export users from their Facebook to Google Plus. Clearly the mood at Palo Alto campus is not that upbeat anymore. Google Plus has grown quickly. The size of the user base has increased by 350% in just 6 days.
To begin with, Google plus makes things more easier for users. Unlike Facebook where its complicated user interface and controls takes advantage of users’ ignorance and unawareness to take growth and promotions viral, Google is focusing on giving you complete control to decide what you want to share and who you want to share with. It even gives you the option to choose how you want your profile to look at the very beginning. On Facebook if you have to attempt to set your profile to a decent level of privacy it wold take almost 30 mins where you will have to access pages and sub pages, looking for conveniently hidden tucked away check boxes and links. The settings are so programmed and positioned to slip away from your attention, to go un noticed and at times even to give you an illusion you have done it all where in fact there would be many more actions yet to be taken. I had seriously thought of posting a guide to setting your Facebook profile which would have been a two or three-part series to explain the entire process. What about writing a book on Facebook Profile for Dummies? Ummm.
Having said that, you cannot blame Facebook for sweating at the early signs of Google Plus’ success. Unlike Facebook which is a master on one turf – online social communication and sharing, Google has its strengths across various complimenting fields which Facebook is yet to get any progress on.
Sample this :
Browser - A browser is your key to unlock the web. Once you cross the doorway into the web realms, it also can becomes your de facto guide if it plays its cards right, and take you to places suggested by it. As your guide on the web, it knows your tastes and preferences. Google has Chrome, Facebook has none.
Search – Google’s core strength. Facebook had tied up with Microsoft , integrating Bing to enable its ‘Search’ capability. It was a mutually beneficial agreement, meant to stymie Google at its own game, as Bing accessed Facebook, displaying real time socially curated content in their search results. Now, Google has caught up with Bing ,getting the same stuff from Google Plus. It need not partner with any one for search. Google has search capability. Facebook does not.
Mobile – Google’s Android is one of the rapidly growing mobile platforms out there. Facebook has none.
Google Locations and Map – Facebook Locations is yet to roll out globally, compared to Google Maps which is now the by-word for a handy guide on terrestrial travel across the world.
Online Office Suite – Google has Docs. Facebook has none .
Youtube – The most active user-generated video content destination on the planet, which is also generating revenue and is estimated to exceed $ 1 Billion this year. Facebook has none.
A dedicated email service – OK, let us not worry about email as a disruptive concept in the new world. But the user base that Gmail is around 200 million. With that adoption population, distribution strategy becomes a cake walk.
Details on the cumulative audience base Google enjoys has been hard to come by at this point in time, any information on that would be highly appreciated. With a total global internet user base of more than 1 Billion, and going by an estimate that Google enjoys more than 55% share of that in some form or the other, through one or more of its properties, it is a given that accelerating the growth of Google Plus using its powerful reach and distribution streams should not be a huge task for Google.
Leaves us with a question to Mark Zuckerberg. Should Facebook have done the IP earlier by end of last year when they were well close to 700 million users? Or was Facebook greedy like Alexander the Great who desired to reach the “ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea”? Now with Google plus here and showing such great promise, we don’t see a good time for Facebook to think about the their IPO any time soon.