Social Networks Face/off


It's been interesting to watch the crescendo of what would Google do, then what would Facebook roll out, and what about Twitter as a trailing third in posts and discussions.

To an observer, it does look like a battle of the networks. Actually, no, it is more like a faceoff between Google and Facebook.

My first look on Google+ turned out to be fair, given the subsequent developments. I continue to be impressed by the level of interaction and engagement Googlers display right in the stream. Google+ addressed useful network features early on.

I have a long history on Facebook commentary – from the most recent on how it will steal your customers, to asking whether brands were guilty by association with Beacon, to the reactions around the Web about the change from fan to like.


In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a flurry of updates to Google+ that culminated in:

  • the integration of content search
  • hangouts going mobile and becoming more collaborative with potential integration with YouTube live
  • the network opening up to everyone

Google offers many more features, of course:

  • data and analytics
  • Google Apps
  • advertising integration with the +1
  • SEO extension
  • segmenting/organizing brand customers, influencers, and fans
  • business use appeal – would Google+ offer custom splash pages like on YouTube?
  • maps and places future integration
  • Google blog, G+ developers and Google Lab blogs

Google shows Circles, Hangouts, and mobile on their splash page as prime attributes

What is Google+ promise?

Their own search listing is

Real life sharing, rethought for the web.


Google+ aims to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. Check out Circles, Messenger and Hangouts, just a few of the things we've been

The message here is share what you want, with whoever you want. "Real life" means work and various circles of friends. Really, the message is confused, isn't it? Why isn't the claim in English, and consistent from search listing to homepage?


Today, we will learn about the new features Facebook is planning to roll out at its developers conference. Some in depth predictions include:

  • mini news feed that follows you around the site – I've already seen this in the last day or so
  • real time updates, a la FriendFeed (it acquired the company in 2009)
  • music streaming
  • an iPad app
  • something mobile that bypasses the app store and Android?

The new Facebook changes center around media, the new feed, and possibly profiles. The common thread is making the site sticker — deepening the customer's engagement with Facebook, not just their experience.

Ultimately, this will be monetized in the form of much richer social graphs. So it's not all about the customer. It's a lot about Facebook.

What is Facebook promise?

Better focus:

Facebook helps you connect and share with people in your life.

on the homepage. The search listing:

Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.


Facebook knows what it is. Google doesn't. It's still talking about tools. FB is talking relationships.

G+ is still VERY young, and I actually like it. But this looks like a substantial, risky relaunch for Facebook ahead. They have all the money and mass in the world. The game is theirs to lose, and they're better focused.


Of course, you know that social media is like sharecropping. While they allow you to share it with others momentarily, the content you put on those networks is theirs to keep – and to discard at will.


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0 responses to “Social Networks Face/off”

  1. Google+ isnt about innovation, its about bringing their products into one hub. I think the true benefits for site owners and bloggers would be to integrate Webmaster Tools and Analytics accounts into the google+, but that may be just my thinking as it was only other developers that were in my circles until today.
    Its going to be interesting over the next few months to see what happens with the launch..

  2. I had a whole big elaborate comment written out, and when I hit post, the blog seems to have deleted it. 🙁
    Anyway, the features I’m most looking forward to with the Facebook facelift (har har) are the new “watched,” “read,” and other like-minded buttons that offer great expansions on the “like” feature.
    That said, I think you’re absolutely right about the differences between FB and G+. FB is cultivating relationships and innovations while G+ is still stuck in the rudimentary stages of development. I’m not sure that I’m yet completely onboard with G+ – I actually logged in for the first time in weeks last night and played around with some of the features – but I don’t really see what it offers that’s new and different from the conversation that’s already been started by Facebook. What are your thoughts on this?

  3. Valeria, Thank you for your clear insight as ever
    I joined google+ today and I must say I like how you can easily find and add interesting people to circles. I’m really excited by it.
    I love facebook too but the ‘like’ vs ‘friend’ dichotomy is inconvenient. Even with the lists option makes it harder to organise content in a way that allows focus on specialised interests, Like G+ or twitter does. This would be useful to me for work.

  4. I’ve learned to write up my comments and responses offline and then pasting them here for that reason. I have several tickets open about that issue, and TypePad assured me they are looking into it…
    I never liked using Facebook and I was an avid fan of FriendFeed (there are posts here, if you’d like to read them, just search the blog), which in many ways Google+ takes after, with added functionality. Obviously, when you don’t use something, like in my case with the Facebook profile (I use the page), it’s hard to say how useful it would be, isn’t it?

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