Facebook User Loyalty Will Trump Google+ Novelty

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-07-12 Print this article Print


5. Mobility is an essential feature

Mobile platforms continue to be a key factor in the success of Facebook. For the millions of people around the globe who own an iPhone, snapping a photo with the camera and uploading to their Facebook profile with the social network's mobile app is a cinch. The same can be said on Android. With an iPad application coming sooner rather than later, expect Facebook to continue to capitalize on the popularity of mobile platforms to grow its own business, which will allow it to maintain its dominant position versus Google+.

6. Think about the revenue

Facebook's advertising platform could also help the social network stay one step ahead of Google+. For now, the search giant's project doesn't offer a way for advertisers to capitalize on the service's membership. Facebook, on the other hand, has an advertising platform that companies around the globe are capitalizing on. In fact, eMarketer reported earlier this year that Facebook's ad revenue is set to explode from about $1.86 billion last year to more than $4 billion this year. In 2012, that figure will grow again to nearly $6 billion. That indicates that advertisers are engaged, and as long as they stay with Facebook, it won't need to worry about Google+.

7. The groups issue

One of best and worst features of Google+ is Circles. The feature is, simply, a way for people to group different folks into different groups and allow users to share only some content with certain people. On paper, it's a great feature. But the question is, do people really want to spend time organizing groups in such a way? Facebook's Groups feature is far more straightforward, allowing everyone within the group to see everyone else. The Google+ Circles feature isn't so open. What's more, its functionality is a bit confusing for new users. As one of the hallmark features of Google+, Circles falls short.

8. People are loath to switch their entire social effort

MySpace notwithstanding, people around the globe are not very willing to move their entire social effort to another social network. As Twitter has proven, people will use multiple social networks. But to think that Facebook users will ditch their profiles and all their friends for a social network that has an extremely small number of users compared with their old favorite is nonsense. In the average user's mind, Google+ is a complement to Facebook and something worth trying out; it's not a replacement.

9. Core competencies need to be considered

Whenever two companies are pitted against each other, it's important to consider what they're best at. Facebook excels at social networking, which is central to its business. Google, on the other hand, is a search company that also offers advertising platforms, a mobile operating system, and much more. Facebook "gets" social networking. Google "gets" search. But does Google really "get" social networking? That's up for debate.

10. Early growth isn't the full story

Much of the talk surrounding Google+'s ability to take Facebook down revolves around the service's early growth. Recent reports suggested Google+ has reached 10 million users, and could hit 20 million by the end of the weekend. While that might be the case, early success does not mean long-term growth. Google has a long way to go to make its Google+ service popular and worthwhile, and talk of it vanquishing Facebook because of its recent successes just doesn't add up.

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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