With the launch of Google +, the social network battle has grown more interesting where the two heavy- weights Google and Facebook have been pitched against each other. Though Google + has gained ten million new users within a couple of weeks of its launch, the success of the network is yet to be measured.
Google+ aims at making social networking more personal and the USP of the model remains the group ‘circles’ so as to help the user share what he wants to share with a particular group, say – work, family, friends etc. But this feature is also available in Facebook where you can hide particular posts from a certain group if you want to. I am sure Facebook would improve on this feature if it becomes a major reason for the shift of their userbase.
Another feature on which Google + is highly banking upon is the “Hangout” or the group video chatting option. To compete with this Facebook, collaborated with the Internet phone service provider Skype and has come up with the video chatting service just days before the launch of Google+. But the limitation of this service in Facebook is that you cannot have group video chat in it. Nevertheless Facebook users can have text group chat amongst themselves.
Loyalty and retention of data would play in big factor other than these technicalities. Over the past seven years, Facebook users have uploaded various photos and videos and shared it with their near and dear ones over the site. It would be very tough to let go off all these “belongings” and precious comments and start afresh. According to Jan 2011 data, the 35+ demographic now represents more than 30% of the entire userbase in Facebook. This is the group that finds it the toughest to adjust to newer models and concepts.Some other very prominent features of Facebook that is missing in Google+ are:
Business Pages: this is one of the coolest way to stay connected with various brands on a personal level and stay updated with the latest. You can also participate in various engaging campaigns and win gifts!
Facebook Games: Though it might be irritating to receive game invitations for those who are not into it but for those who spend the best part of their day building their positions in Farmville, Cityville or Mafia wars, they swear by Facebook!
If Google+ is just a copycat of Facebook with just a few improvements here and there, I believe its going to be yet another showdown after Orkut and Google Buzz. As of now I cannot see anything massively different or interesting in Google + than that of Facebook. But the fight will surely be worth a watch!