Since Google released to the public its social networking entry, Google+, the press has been speculating on whether or not it would disrupt or even overtake Facebook.
Facebook is certainly fighting back by adding a group contact system and rumoured more new feature to roll out shortly.
Although Facebook has a huge head start, it is somewhat constained by its incumbent technology style thinking – whereas Google is more adept at moving the technology line to new zones.
Google represents a real challenge to Facebook – and in spite of the tough challenge ahead in overcoming or breaking apart the Facebook network, those individuals who find the constraints of Facebook don’t serve their needs will be the first to loosen the web. With over a billion Google users – not all of whom spend time on Facebook – that’s not a bad starting point. Google appears to be focused more on convergence of chat, social network, video chat etc, making it a kind of 3D version of Facebook. Facebook, in a partnership with Skype followed Google to offer multiuser video chat, but it appears its overall pace of development is well lagging that of Google.
It will be a matter of time to see how Google leverages its video and search capabilities a unique advantage over Facebook – but one thing worth betting on is that they will find a way.
In spite of Facebook’s leadership in the social network arena, it already appears to be playing the follower role, rather than the leader – unable to respond with Google-like innovation.
Facebook is cleaning up its feature set, finally hiding the ‘Poke’ button inside a menu, rather than occupying a very visible space next to ‘Add Friend’ and ‘Send Message’ buttons. In its place, new ‘Subscribe’ and ‘Friend’ buttons now indicate sharing status. Its all rather messy and convoluted, and the demand for identity proof via cellphone or university creditation is a bit much.