So Google launched Google+ last week. Everyone was curious. Everyone rushed to try it. Everyone invited everyone they knew to join it. And yes, its good. Very good. But are Facebook worried? Not in the slightest.
There’s a lot to like about Google+. Its slick and simple interface makes Facebook look like it was designed by a blind dog, its excellent mobile skin (on both phones and tablets) puts Facebook to shame whilst its lack of adverts and spam makes, guess who, Facebook look like greedy, money obsessed fat cat bastards. Yes, Google+ is an excellent product, superior to FB in many ways. But still, regardless of that, it will never make a dent in Facebook’s popularity. Not in a milion years.
It doesn’t stop Google from trying though. They’ve cleverly harnessed all of that data they’ve been scurrying on you for years to give you an instantly populated public G+ profile, meaning perhaps now’s a good time to wipe your Google search history and embarassing Picassa albums. All-in-all, powerful and potent stuff for a budding social network (I swear Google know more about me than my wife and mistress put together). Of course, this makes Google+ even more appealing to use because, assuming your already have a Google profile, you don’t even need to tell it about yourself, it just knows.
The fundamental problem with Google+ though – and the reason it will never defy Facebook – is simply because its not Facebook. After playing with G+ for several hours over the course of a few days, I noticed that all of the people I was communicating with and encountering on it were the same batch of geeks and nerds I communicate with and encounter on Facebook. Yes, they’d come across to the Dark Side out of sheer geeky curiosity but what of my other, less technologically obsessed friends? Well, they were still on Facebook.
And therein lies the issue: why would anyone want to leave the comfort of Facebook and their hundreds of friends, already uploaded photos and videos, years of messaging and gaming history and mind-numbingly addictive Ville games to try out a new product that does more or less the same thing? Well, there is no reason.
As much as Google+ offers a better interface, excellent integration with there products and a super easy way to invite people and encourage growth, it doesn’t anything radically new or different or beneficial enough to get people to leave their virtual lives behind and move from Facebook. G+ may be good but ultimately its just the same thing in different clothes.
So thats why Zuckerberg et al won’t be losing any sleep over the launch of G+ and will still be laughing maniacally all the way to the bank when Facebook goes public for $100 billion.
Maybe Google will buy some shares.