Reasons Why I Think Google Will Win the Social Media Race
The internet has enabled — and sincerely loves — a success story like Facebook. Out of a college dorm room, the internet’s most successful social media website emerged and came to dominate the online conversation. At the same time, however, the internet loves an underdog and a come-from-behind success story. That is exactly what it might have with the Google Plus service recently unveiled by the search giant in a direct effort to derail Facebook’s epic success.
Privacy Wins the Day
Facebook is no stranger to controversy when it comes to the privacy settings and preferences of its millions of users. In fact, the company’s founder has even said that he believes privacy is a thing of the past. Many Facebook users have restricted their privacy settings as much as possible and have simply waited for the right alternative to emerge.
That’s where the “Circles” feature of Google Plus comes in. The site allows users to add their friends to the online equivalent of social circles, or cliques. Each social circle can have its own set of privacy and security settings, ranging from completely open to almost entirely restrictive. Profile information can be tightly controlled based on these social groups and users are under no obligation to give any real information about themselves just for using the service. And when a user posts a status update, video, or photograph, they can select which circles see that item — every time.
Group Video Chat Surpasses Facebook Technology
Facebook recently held a press event where it promised to unveil something “awesome.” The company did unveil something nice: video chat using its increasingly popular Facebook Chat application. In addition, the service was integrated with Skype for users who preferred to have a desktop application (which the company promises is coming soon). This was largely seen as a necessary step to be able to compete with Google Plus, but it fell far short.
That’s because Google Plus offers multi-person group video chats that are based around its Circles technology. Users can engage in group video chats with up to nine other Google Plus users, for a total of ten people in what the company calls a “Hangout.” There is no desktop software to install, although the feature does require a plugin to be installed. Best of all, users can invite only the circles they wish to chat with — excluding acquaintances or family members that should be kept out of the loop. It’s miles ahead of Facebook and it resonates with the young users who have fallen in love with video chatting technologies.
Other Features and Conclusions
Google Plus has no real character limit on its status updates or content posts, meaning the Twitter elite can expound on their 140-character thoughts at length on Google’s website. And its interface is simple, easy to use, and quick to load — unlike Facebook, which has been known to slow to a crawl or simply stop loading periodically.
Overall, Google Plus is an extremely strong social networking platform that integrates tomorrow’s technologies with yesterday’s privacy preferences. Combined with its strong integration in Google applications like Maps and GMail, the company has set itself up to dominate the social networking landscape as invitations become more widely available.
And Facebook should hope that the invitations get lost in the mail, as their future may become more uncertain as more users receive them.