Thursday, 21 July 2011

Google+ vs Facebook vs Microsoft (maybe)

There's been a lot of buzz (pun intended) about Google+ recently, mostly, given that its in Beta, in the online tech community. So yesterday, the G folk were quite rightly proud of the phenomenal speed of growth with millions of members already signed up in Beta, though it seems this is understandably slowing, as reported on Mashable.

True there are some cool tools that the tech community find wonderful - Circles is one of the best innovations, though the idea of being able to go back and edit posts is something that I've used a few times already. The idea that work colleagues can retain that title is also pretty good - you can rarely call your CEO your 'friend' which on Facebook you have to!

The trouble with it being in Beta, is that, as its all techies it feels like I'm still at work and there's a lot less pure social stuff going on there. G+ has to move beyond this to achieve anything like a critical mass that will give it the wings to grow further, and not end up like Wave, a cool tech tool that no-one actually uses.

Facebook steaming past 700 million users
Facebook meanwhile is steaming past 700 million members and already has that critical mass, and more to the point, has considerable momentum which we never saw in the earlier networks that came to market, such as Bebo and Myspace.

So, given the fleet of foot so far with Facebook developers launching innovation in the past at a pace, have they grown too large to continue high-speed development on what is becoming an ever larger piece of technology. Most people's money is on the idea that Zuckerberg's team will be adding similar functionality found in G+ to your Facebook profile on the fly in double quick time.

What then would that mean for Google? They are still a country mile behind Facebook in adoption by the vast bulk of online Social Network users in the US and Europe. There is still the huge number of mainstream users who also use Gmail, Adwords, Adsense, Google Analytics, Android, Chrome....

What also for the rumour of Microsoft's 'leaked' entry into this space with Tulalip to start a 3-way tussle for your online persona? Certainly they have a ready marketplace of users to go for all with existing hotmail, msn and XBox live accounts.

Unlike G+, they seem to have added login with Facebook or twitter buttons, which seems a bit of a strange move. Google obviously wants to distance themselves and thier offering from Facebook. It will be very interesting to see how this develops further...

Meanwhile - I look at Google+ a couple of times a day, but use Facebook. I can't help thinking that will be a similar scenario for the majority of non-techie users, particlarly the growing number who are concerned about the extent to which Google has infiltrated our lives.

this one will run and run...