With the recent launch of Google+ into the social sphere, it brought on many different questions, one of them was, will it be able to compete against Facebook? We already know the answer to that one, especially after seeing 5 Million new registers sign up in less than 1 week. A question that still has not been answered is, will it do to Facebook what Facebook did to Myspace? The answer is… doubtful.
The Google+ launch was great, it brought on a change in interface. Unfortunately, I feel like the change, while aimed in the right direction, was not strong enough to make it to the center of the population.
Google has one thing that’s working against them when it comes to the “social media” realm, their name. When you think of Google, the first and only thing that comes to most people’s mind is “search engine,” either that or “The owners of the internet.” Okay, so maybe the second thought might be a bit farfetched, but you get my point. I don’t think I’ll ever see Google as the Social Media giant that they are yearning to be known as.
The main problem that ANY social media network will have to face, is the whole “innovation” of the service. When you look at social sites, think of them as car companies, they all make the same thing, the only difference is the way they present the vehicles to us. If a social network is going to stand a chance at knocking Facebook off it’s pedestal, they will have to come up with something truly revolutionary. They will need to create something that we haven’t seen, in layman’s terms, they’ll have to make a flying car that is both, easy to use, and not to advanced for our times.
Google+ taking down Facebook is not going to be an easy task. We call Google+ the Facebook killer, and we keep on comparing this new “network rivalry” to the same rivalry Facebook and MySpace had in the beginning. If you think about it, when Facebook took down MySpace, in less than 2 years, the main reason MySpace went under is not because of how strong Facebook came out of their fighting corner, but more of the fact that MySpace did not develop information to be shared as fast as Facebook was developing theirs.
Eventually, Facebook became a place to share just about anything with your friends. They incorporated Chatting, effectively taking down Chat Rooms, incorporated Forums by making groups and pages, incorporated personal blogs by adding the ability to keep notes and sharing them with your friends. At the end of all of their “in-corporations” MySpace received a memo stating they were in a competition… by that time, MySpace didn’t stand a chance.
All those changes mentioned above, made Facebook a better and friendlier place than MySpace. Unfortunately, the change being brought on by Google+ is just not big enough to take Facebook down. They do have “circles” and they have “hang outs” which are great new tools for the social world, but it’s big enough of change. Google needs that extra “oomph” if they want to do some real damage. Really, Google has enough “oomph” to go around. Back in the day when Google came to the Internet, they effectively took down Yahoo!, the search engine giant of the time.
But, just like Google provided a rethinking of the search engine process against Yahoo. Facebook provided a rethinking of the social process against MySpace. Both Google and Facebook were effectively put into first place thanks to their initial moves and innovations. They dint’ create the Search Engine, or the Social Site, but they did manage to bring a new service together out of the loose affiliations of the predecessors.
When Facebook brought the change to MySpace, they practically combined everything “social” in one network. Google+ in the other just re-branded everything. They brought on many of the features that are already available to Facebook users. Sure they brought on a couple of new features, but ultimately what they did was go to the library, check out a book on “Facebook,” and tried to copy the information straight out of the cover page.
In my opinion, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, and any other social site currently in place, have all mellowed out. They don’t have any new advancements, or any drastic changes anymore. For the most part, they all copy each other. Think of it as having GPS units in your car, or adding cruise control. Every single car has them already, it’s nothing new.
If a company really and truly wants to make a real Facebook killer; they will have to find a way to reconstruct the networks, and architect a brand new environment in a way that we can actually share information with the people that we care about the most. They will also need to have a way to reward those people who “move” audiences and call things to action. I want my “likes” to actually have the weight of my words. Finally, they will have to find a way to intertwine businesses, brands, companies, and people into a graceful web where everyone can co-exist without being to “spammy” or too cramped up. Until a company comes up that really CHANGES and EVOLVES the social media world, Facebook will remain the King of Social Networks, at least for the years to come.