In 2004 Mark Zuckerberg began The Facebook, changing social media as we know it and garnering more than 750 million users. In 2006 Jack Dorsey launched every employer’s nightmare: Twitter. The micro-blogging platform created a new way to immediately connect, and every tyrannical government rushed to find ways to cut off 200 million users. In 2011, Google launched the Google+ project, and still in a limited beta it has already grabbed 10 million users.
But what sets Google+ apart from everything that’s already come before? The ‘like’ style of the +1 button? Maybe it’s the Skype-esque Huddle ability? It has to be the ability to actually edit your status updates instead of having to delete or re-create your update to fix an error, right? Perhaps it is the simple beauty of the Circle privacy feature.
Whatever aspect it is that makes you choose Google+ over Facebook or Twitter, Google’s aim is to make you stay with the platform in the long run. And should you switch, you will not be the only one. The reception over the past 25 days since the project rolled out has been overwhelming as hordes of Social Media strategists, experts, and users began begging, borrowing, or stealing invites wherever they could get them. This has been one of the most well received of Google’s projects since, well, whatever it was that came out before Wave or Buzz.
And if that wasn’t enough, Google+ has the mobile markets already full of easy to use apps for all its many Android based phones.
But can Google take Facebook? All signs seem to say yes. Google has managed to fold in real-time networking [Circles], real-time collaboration, instant messaging, just about all their cloud capabilities, and a content management system [YouTube and Picasa]. And we are still talking about a beta technology with more to be released including a possible music capability1.
Currently Google+ is the second most popular website in the world. As of 2010, Google got 9%+ of all web traffic while Facebook only scraped in 7%+2.
Facebook is already feeling the threat as visible in the social media giant’s active attempts to ruin Google’s PR earlier this year3. With that muscle flex failing due to exposure in the media, Facebook is now actively blocking apps that would allow cross-platform sharing4 and pushing Google+ ads off the site. There are even rumors of Facebook blocking folks who use Google+ on the same computer.
While the game is still early, Google+ has all the hallmarks of a quality social media platform that will oust Facebook once the true potential of the site is known. Dell is even rumored5 to be considering using the platform as its newest method of customer service. And once the business pages roll out, there will not only be tremendous marketing possibilities but a massive influx of new users.
Google+ may not be the perfect site, but it’s perfectly capable of taking on Facebook and winning.
1Google Talks Design Tweaks, and More To Come http://www.webpronews.com/google-redesign-2-2011-06
2Google vs. Facebook, http://www.mrwebmaster.com/featured/2010/11/google-vs-facebook/
3Facebook admits hiring PR firm to smear Google, http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/12/facebook-admits-hiring-pr-firm-to-smear-google/
4Facebook blocks Google Chrome extension for exporting friends, http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-blocks-google-chrome-extension-for-exporting-friends/1935
5Dell want to use Google+ Hangout for Customer Service, http://gigaom.com/video/dell-google-hangouts/
Author Bio: Allison Duncan is a Web Site Consultant, Blogger, Podcaster, and Social Media Consultant. Her many activities can be found on her home site. Currently she is producing a podcast for BlogInteract.com and working on an e book about Blogging. You can connect with her on Twitter [@AllisonDDuncan] or find her on Google+ at onGPL.US/allison.