There’s a lot of conjecture online these days about whether or not Facebook is really in any trouble from Google+. In fact, I’m surprised how many of the experts seem to think Facebook has nothing to worry about. Here’s why I think Facebook has plenty to fear:
1. It’s Google: Yes, Facebook is huge in the social media circles. However, Google is huge in most online markets. Where they are not yet the dominant player, Google easily could be, with a strategic investment from their war chest.
2. Privacy Failures: Facebook has repeatedly upset their users with poor decisions regarding privacy policies and practices. Granted, Google could do the same, but there seems to be a greater trust of Google these days.
3. Messaging: Facebook’s messaging model is still clunky. Whether it is chat, wall posts, direct messages or other communications on Facebook, the solutions don’t integrate well with each other or, more important, external tools. Google+ already integrates with your gmail and chat.
4. Other Integrations: The possibilities are relatively endless. From apps to analytics, from storage to blogging, if you want your social media platform seamlessly integrated with other solutions, Google+ is liable to do it quicker, easier and in a more familiar format.
5. It’s Google: Yes, I already said this. But many people make the analogy to Facebook vs. MySpace and then discount Google+ because MySpace was so poorly managed and Facebook already has so many (750 Million) users. Well, Google search, alone, in 2010, had 350 Million users. Gmail was estimated at 100 Million in 2010 as well. Adjust for growth in the past several months, add in users from Google’s many other applications, and the argument of Facebook’s user base shrinks rapidly.
Now, do I think Facebook will vanish quicker than you can say “MySpace”? No. Do I think Facebook will deteriorate into poor quality, distasteful content like late night television B-Rated movies? No. However, I do believe Google+ will take a significant user base from Facebook. History has shown that a single geography really supports only one dominant, comprehensive social platform. Therefore, if Google+ eats into Facebook’s user base anywhere near 50%, the monolith that once was Facebook just may tumble.
Question: What do you think? Does Facebook need to worry about Google+?