I have been using Google+ for almost a week now and there is still a long way for it to go before it starts really competing with Facebook. I think they have really integrated Google products and services nicely into a social network.
I felt there are 5 key advantages that Google+ has over it Facebook which might just cause a lot of headaches to Facebook over the next few months and years.
Yes, Facebook also has a lot of money but Google has a lot more than Facebook. Google can invest half a billion dollars for then next 5 years in Google+ only to make sure Facebook’s rise is kept in check.
Facebook does not have that sort of portfolio and will have to out do Google+, as it cannot outspend it.
#2. No Dependence on 3rd parties
Facebook depends on Skype for improving it’s chat services along with having video chatting via the browser. This is mutually beneficial to both Facebook and Skype.
Google+ depends on technology they have built with Gmail and Google voice for powering chatting between Google+ friends and groups. Google also owns Android, Google TV and Chrome OS which can power a successful social product even more.
#3. Standalone products
Google+ has been built more like a common meeting point for all their services like Gmail, Chat, Maps, Voice, photo sharing with Picasa and YouTube. This means it’s a social network made for bringing together different services offered by Google.
With Facebook there are no standalone products for video or images. I cannot share images and albums with people without a Facebook account all that easily like I can with Picasa.
Google has its own search engine which everyone considers the primary source of traffic for almost any website. Facebook has some integration with Bing to have Social Search but the results are not as powerful as yet to really get Google worried.
But a powerful search feature built into Google+ will certainly give Facebook more headaches to deal with.
#5. No Pressure
Facebook started as a college product and with its founders quite happy to see it spread across universities in the United States. Facebook evolved without the pressure of competing with the big boys of social networking. MySpace and Geocities were the social services back then.
The lack of pressure to beat these large companies meant Facebook could keep innovating and changing without upsetting too many users. Now Google+ is in the same situation. It is not expected to defeat Facebook in a face-off and it can quietly improve its service, without worrying too much about how users might react.
Facebook’s really big advantage…
I do not mean that Google+ has won the fight against Facebook. Not by a long shot, as only recently Facebook announced it is used by over 750 million people. So how many people use Google+ will finally end up deciding it’s eventual success or failure.
What are your views about Google+ and Facebook when compared? Do drop in your comments.