Apparently there is no end to social media networks. It all started with MySpace and Friendster. Then of course Facebook kicked both MySpace’s and Friendster’s asses. Then Twitter came about and somehow found a way to coexist with Facebook (smart move). Once Twitter came into the picture I thought we were done with the new social media sites but I was wrong.
Google decided to get in the game and on June 28 it released Google+ (Google Plus) which is a social networking service operated by Google Inc. The site began as in an invite-only testing phase and technically it’s still in that phase. The day after its launch, Google+ users were allowed to invite friends to create their own accounts. However, this was quickly suspended a day after there was “insane demand” for accounts. I was invited a few weeks ago and couldn’t get on because there because was too much traffic. Today I was invited again and now I’m officially a Google+ user. (Here we go….)
Considering I’ve never had any interest in joining Twitter, it’s interesting that I was so quick to join Google+ even though I don’t know anything about it. Maybe it’s because Google just seems like a more user-friendly site that I’m accustomed to or maybe it’s because Google is so much a part of my life that being part of Google+ only seemed natural. (Or it could be that my extremely pushy friends Dave and Justin made me). Either way, I’m an official Google+ user and there is no going back. But here’s the question: Do I really want to put together ANOTHER profile and upload photos and make comments on ANOTHER site?
The other big question is whether or not Google+ will give Facebook a run for its money. I wonder if Google+ is Mark Zuckerberg’s worst nightmare or if he’s laughing at his billion dollar desk at this new “test site.” Stating the obvious, The New York Times declared the site as Google’s biggest attempt to rival Facebook which had over 750 million users in 2011.
We’ll see how it goes – I remember back in 2004 when I had no idea what Facebook was and then within weeks everyone I knew with a college email address was on it. It spread like wildfire and I think the same might happen with Google+ but it will honestly depend on whether or not people want to have both or if they are going to choose between Google+ and Facebook. Can they coexist or is there only room for one?
Either way, Google+ hit the ground running as it’s already created a bunch of services including “Circles,” “Hangouts,” “Sparks” and “Huddles” which I’m sure in six months will be part of our social media jargon like “Friend” and “Like” have become with Facebook.
So let the games begin and get out your scorecards. Will veteran Facebook win the social media race or will it be the newcomer Google+? Or can they coexist? I’m so curious to hear what everyone thinks. Let me know!
steph j-kobez says
this one’s a tough call, because as we all know, facebook is KING at the moment, but that’s not to say that it won’t get old in a few years. it may not be possible for the two to co-exist since google’s new app offers way too much “stuff” whereas twitter has survived because its so minimalistic and it doesnt impede on facebook’s turf. every other social media app that google has created in the past has failed, and while it’s nice to think that google could have a handle on everything on the internet, im almost kinda glad that it doesn’t… because there is the inevitable, scary possibility that we’d become the united states of google. haha
So true Steph! I wonder if the schools will start having their kids recite this from now on: “The United States of Google for which it stands, one nation, under the Internet…”
I am probably not a good indicator because I never really liked Facebook, I just found it an efficient centralized place from which to keep in touch with certain people in my life, especially friends and family members living in other cities (like you, L²!). I personally enjoy nerdy topics like math, politics and technology, and have no interest in Farmville, the Casey Anthony trial or cat videos, so Google + works for me. I will still check Facebook every once in a while, but don’t miss it in the least. I suspect I am probably in the minority though.
I’m still figuring out Google+ but it seems to have a lot of the same features as Facebook. Since I’m still learning can you give me examples of features Google+ has that FB doesn’t?
To me, the main differences (improvements?) are Circles and a more open ecosystem. Facebook has lists, but I don’t think anyone used them. Circles on G+ allows you to broadcast to specific circles or to Public. You can follow and interact with people who are not necessarily following you, differing from Facebook’s mutual acceptance scheme. That can be good or bad, depending on your perspective, but you don’t see anyone’s posts unless they are also in your circles. I like the possibility to follow a tech guru or a political commentator and interact with other people also interested in that person’s thoughts. With FB, you’re kind of in an echo chamber. And finally, I haven’t used it yet, but hangouts is supposedly a very nice video chat interface that hosts up to 10 people (I believe FB is only one on one).
I think you’re right and that it does depend on your perspective and what you’re looking for in a social media site. There are some instances where I’m glad that people I’m not friends with on FB can’t see my comments and photos. That being said, sometimes I wish everyone could see my page for things I want public like my blog posts for example. I guess we’ll have to see how G+ grows and what catches on and what doesn’t. Although it’s hard to remember, there was a time when the features on FB were unfamiliar but that ship quickly sailed and if G+ takes off it could be just as popular.
Uch I can’t emotionally handle another “social media” site. It’s pathetic enough that I feel like I have so much “invested” in Facebook. I never did MySpace, Twitter, or Friendster (didn’t hear of that one until this blog post by the way), and didn’t join Facebook until about 2006. I’m D-O-N-E. LL, please no invites =).