Many in the Google Plus community believe that Google+ is superior to Facebook, and that it has more to offer. Based on these opinions many believe that Google+ will overtake Facebook, and that it’s only a matter of time before that happens. This article will cover some of the reasons behind these predictions and opinions. The contents of this article are based on an informative conversation had between myself, Munaz Anjum, Mark Traphagen and several other very informed individuals. That conversation can be viewed here.
Google Plus for Marketing and Business
Particularly for business and marketing purposes Google Plus is positioned extraordinarily well compared with Facebook. Companies are fed up with how Facebook manipulates the network such that posts are not seen by a companies entire following. In order to fully reach the audience, that the company spent time and effort to grow, they must pay Facebook money to advertise.
Google Plus is particularly well positioned to promote its social network because of all the Google products and services already being offered. Consider that with each new Android activation a new Google+ account is created. Google is also connecting all of its services with G+ such as Maps, YouTube, Drive Gmail and more. These are services already being used by many millions of people, and these numbers are skyrocketing.
Because of these associated and integrated services Google is attracting many businesses and marketers because by using G+ there is a massive built in audience. For example each public post in Google+ is almost instantly indexed by Google search giving a company access to a huge audience of search traffic. This connection between Google search, the vastly predominant search engine, does not exist with Facebook.
Google Plus for People
An often referenced difference between Google+ and Facebook is that G+ is very good for people wishing to make new connections, and form new relationships. While Facebook is more for keeping already existing friends and family connected. This paradigm is changing. Google+ offers features that people want, and Facebook doesn’t offer. A good example of this are Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts are a way for people to have free video conferencing across devices, platforms and physical location. With ever increasing availability of a forward facing camera on mobile devices, and ever increasing access to high speed Internet people are beginning to realize the availability of video chats.
Google Plus also offers a wide range of photo editing tools right from the platform. No longer do you need to go outside of your network to modify photos. The recent integration with Snapseed the Google+ photo editing tools have become very powerful. One of the major aspects to social media is sharing photos, and Google+ is a superior platform for doing this. In addition to the photo editing tools G+ can also automatically categorize your photos, and even recognize certain landmarks in photos and help you organize them.
Google+ is continually innovating, and expanding its feature base. While at the same time Facebook has nearly stopped innovation. This produces a result where on the one hand Facebook is beginning to stagnate, and on the other G+ is attracting a rapidly growing audience to its innovative services. In addition to Hangouts, photo editing and photo organizing tools Google has a very powerful document sharing and collaboration tool called Drive. Drive is increasing its integration with G+, and both are attracting users.
All of this innovation is executed in such a way that often people experience a kind of serendipity that increases value to those people involved. For example it’s often the case that people will come across posts or comments on G+ that are related in unexpected ways to topics of current interest to them. In this way a serendipitous result occurs and the outcome is that those people involved gain a great deal of real value in directly, as well as tangentially, related topics.
Google+ for Everyone?
There are certainly people on Facebook who aren’t interested in innovation or serendipity, and for those people their interest in Google+ will either take longer to materialize or may even never occur at all. However on this point I believe that there will come a critical mass that many now on Facebook won’t ignore once reached. Basically there is a kind of psychology involved, called group think, whereby individuals behave differently in a group than they otherwise would on their own. When there is a large enough group on Google+ many currently on Facebook will change their behavior and join as well.
There are many now who don’t know, or understand, the value that Google+ has to offer them. For example there are many in the baby boomer generation that would love to stay in touch with family more. This is particularly the case given the likelihood that many of their children moved far away seeking opportunity. Google Plus offers features for staying in touch and connecting that Facebook simply can’t match.
Google Plus for Google
Google is able to monetize Google+ with extraordinary effectiveness. This has a dual effect. Firstly it has the obvious effect of making Google enormously wealthy, which is good because it gives them a lot of capital to invest in their services. The second effect is that because they’re able to monetize Google+ they aren’t pressured to place advertising on the platform. This brings a lot of value to G+ members in the form of an ad free environment in which to interact.
Google is also profiting in a major way from all the data it collects with Google+. It is by leveraging this data that they are able to monetize. By understanding you, who your friends are, who you listen to, what you’re interested in and a host of other data Google is able to provide you with goods and services matched to the individual in unprecedented ways. The value of being able to offer products and services that people are actually looking for is huge.
When will Google Plus Overtake Facebook?
There’s little doubt that no one can at this point put a date to this event, but given the information covered in this article that outcomes seems eventual rather than conjectural. It’s going to take that tipping point when people look around and see that many of their friends and family members have made the switch. Given the feature set, the lack of ads, the general robustness of the platform and Google continuing to integrate G+ into every aspect of it’s products and services the outcome seems clear. Google Plus will overtake Facebook. It’s only a matter of time.