Will Google+ Eat Facebook’s Lunch?

I suspect Google+’s biggest selling point will be the idea of “circles.” In Facebook you’re my friend or not. With Google+ you’re part of a group or groups.

This has not been a good week to be Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook has a competitor… a well done competitor… a well done competitor from a company with very deep pockets. Google has gone on offense!

We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project:

The new Facebook threat is called Google+. It is well integrated into Google’s pre-existing menagerie of websites and services. That means it’s already well positioned with video (Youtube), text and video chatting (Google Talk), photos (Picasa) and search enhanced features.

I suspect Google+’s biggest selling point will be the idea of “Circles.” In Facebook you’re my friend or not. With Google+ you’re part of a group or groups. It’s set up to easily control who sees what. I can post something for work friends or weather friends or viewers or everyone. This lack of compartmentalization is one of Facebook’s real weaknesses.

Earlier this afternoon I opened a video chat (called a hangout) within Goolge+ and invited any of my few dozen friends to check-in. There were four of us with reasonably good video. There’s a feature that’s shifts the focus in a larger window to the participant who’s talking! I like that.

Google+ isn’t as much a new product as it is an improvement of an older one: Facebook!

Will it eat Facebook’s lunch? I don’t know. At first glance it seems better. The pages are cleanly laid out and the photos are larger.

Is there room for two social media sites? Probably not. A large draw for Facebook is there is only one Facebook (as MySpace discovered)!

Here’s the upside for users: Competition will bring out features and functionality faster. Maybe you’ll even begin to be treated like you’re important to Facebook… because as of now you really are.

16 thoughts on “Will Google+ Eat Facebook’s Lunch?”

  1. code to add +1 to your own site:

    and no Farmville yet.. no apps on +.. this is good and bad.. good for those that don’t play games (no random notices and such..) bad for those that do, and those that develop.. (Facebook is a major source of income for many people/businesses if it goes the way of Myspace it won’t go well for many of them..)

  2. How did you get onto the site? Are you one of the “privileged” ones that roam the face of the earth living in a privileged society? Us “ordinary” people have to wait until the nationwide release because the privileged ones took up all the room they were allocating for the Beta release.

  3. Geoff, you actually listed the reason Google+ will not overtake Facebook … You just didn’t realize it.

    Yes, it’s well-positioned in a number of different services … And that is where Google fails. I don’t want to have to have a Picasa account, a Gmail account, a Google Profile, a YouTube account, etc.

    Today is all about integration. Facebook has a single login. The video chat is powered by Skype, but I don’t need Skype credentials. It’s still a Facebook chat. And so on and so on. Kids don’t even email anymore – you just Facebook message someone.

    It may be in the end a good product and they could work on the integration of services, but starting 750 million users behind is a tall, tall order. Facebook is here to stay.

    1. Matt,

      All of Google’s services, such as Picasa, Gmail, Google+, YouTube, etc, are all linked together in your Google account, so you only need a single login to use all of these services. Granted, you may need to “activate” them in order to use them, but you only need a single user/pass to access them all.

  4. I think many people concerned with how much information Google already has on its users will be leery of joining Google+. I’m kind of surprised that no cults have yet named Google/Zukerburg as the apocryphal “Beast” from Revelations!

  5. Facebook does have compartmentalization with groups that you can create and customize. A few of my friends have that already, which I don’t mind because some of those groups that they created I used to be a heavy part of but now I’m not.

    Already got Google for mail, video and blog. Certainly don’t want it for anything else.

  6. Google does a lot of things. Many of them seem cool and just flame out. Who wants to take the time to get involved with this and then they just shut it down on them.

  7. I totally agree with Matt from Northford. Over the weekend, there was a news article which reported the first MAJOR “OOOPS!” for Google+, namely, some of their severs ran out of disk space!

    As a result, many thousands of “warnings” were e-mailed, literally flooding Google+ user’s e-mail accounts with the same message, hundreds of times. The ONLY “saving grace” of this fiasco, was that GMail “threads” its messages, so they all ended up in a single “folder”… but come on! Does this bode well for this up-and-coming (or should I say Upstart?) challenger to the 1,000 Lb gorilla? (Facebook)

    I can’t help but notice, now, how many major corporations have now included in their TV, radio, and print adverts, “Like us on Facebook” in addition to their WEB addresses! It is almost as though Facebook has become a “second Internet”. In one sense, it saves these corporations some money, in that they don’t need to contract a team of developers to maintain a “social interface” on their own sites… and their customers won’t need multiple log-ins, one for each of their favorite businesses.

    INTEGRATION is important! Who wants to bother keeping track of dozens of logins, when all they really need is ONE? 🙂

  8. for those of you concerned about integration, logins, etc:

    G+ allows you to connect/import your other social media services like FB, Twitter, LinkedIn.

    Also, when you login to G+, you’re simultaneously logged in to any other Google product you’re using, such as GMail, YouTube, etc.

    It’s a pretty slick package, especially considering it’s technically still in Beta/Preview mode.

  9. People don’t need games on their social network to plug into. It’s a distraction and a gimmick of cornball addictions. I hope G+ eats FB for lunch, perhaps Marky Z should just cash out now and bury FB for good.

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