Thus the reason that more people use Facebook is that more people use Facebook. This dominance has more to do with trend than with quality and there’s no guarantee that this trend will last. Anyone remember Microsoft’s frightening dominance of tech and software about ten years ago? Not that Microsoft is irrelevant today, but compared with Google and Apple, it seems relatively tame.
Not so fast folks. Despite the report cited by Mashable demonstrating less social sharing on G+, news of the Other Network’s demise is premature. There are some hard numbers as well as substantial inertia favoring G+. G+ reached 50 million users in under 3 months. That had never been done before. Mashable reported in January that G+ is on track to reach 400 million users by 2013, and the Verge reported in late July that G+ traffic increased 66% in nine months.
So although I once wrote that Facebook was taking over the world, today I’d like to present you with the top 3 reasons Why Google Plus will eventually be more important than Facebook.
G+ Has Much Better User Features
First, photos. Even though there are a few adequate photo uploading apps, The Social Network’s native photo uploader is remarkably lame (one at a time folks, and don’t forget to create an album).
While Facebook’s image viewing functionality has improved, it is still quite lacking when compared to Flickr or Google’s own Picasa. I’ve always loved Picasa’s combination of powerful features and ease of use. The desktop application’s interface with my account online account is just great, even if I now have to upload to my G+ photos, which in turn places them on picassaweb. G+ photos provides awesome features that are light years ahead of Facebook including meta-data and visual effects editing!
While Google is certainly not a data privacy hero, Facebook’s obtuse handling of data privacy fiascos has put off lots of people. Adding to Facebook fatigue are problems born of its great success. While there are far more people and Facebook, there is a lot more crap, and sifting through it to find the good stuff is much harder than on G+.
Facebook fatigue has presented itself most dramatically on Wall Street. Henry Blodget pointed out last week that “Facebook’s stock has crashed since the IPO and is now trading more that 40% below the IPO price.” Significantly, this was due to disappointing earnings, in particular “the number of ad units that the company served in its most important market, the U.S., declined 2% year over year–an unheard-of event for a company that most investors viewed as a ‘hyper-growth’ company.” To put it even more bluntly, “Facebook’s web-based users in the U.S. declined year over year, and the company’s core U.S. business may be shrinking.”
With troubling ad revenue projections, Facebook’s key new advertising product, “Sponsored Stories”, will further dilute interesting Facebook content and drive away even more users. Additionally, Google’s purchase of Wildfire will give the search giant much of the social marketing mojo that marketers love so much about Facebook.
Deep integration into the Google Ecosystem
Facebook does not have the Google ecosystem of maps, calendar, search, books, movies, youtube, music, blogging, desktop search, cloud storage, advertising, rss readers, email, gps tracking, image editing, android, chrome, AppEngine, Compute Cloud, data takeout, or the tons of other products thriving and working together under Google.
The goal of Google+ is to create a social backbone that integrates with all services; a side-effect of that is the actual site known as Google+. Eventually anyone who uses Google products (estimated 1 to 1.5 billion people, not users) will be using Google+.
Add to that the “900,000 android devices” activated daily that feature a G+ app that provides a far superior mobile experience (“Chat face to face with up to 9 friends at once”) to Facebook mobile and you’ve got a real case.
So is Facebook the Yahoo! of the 2010’s? And is G+ well, the Google of social networks? Facebook is certainly still a monster and ectonic shifts like these happen over years not months. In 5 or 10 years what do you think the dominant social network will be?
DAVID VYORST is Co-Founder of Relay Station Social Media LLC.
We help companies amplify their communications, build reputations, and expand business through unique communications strategies, integrated Internet marketing, social media, analytics, and training.