There are many skeptics on the recent release of Google’s latest attempt of a social network, Google+. I say “latest”, because Google has tried many times to create a social network with Google Buzz and Google Wave (to name just a few), but in the end they all were flops.
Due to its history of not doing so well in the social networking department, it’s expected that some may feel Google+ will not stack up to the widely popular social networks, like Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand, some who have used Google+ are intrigued by this new arrival into the social media world and have already left their “old” social networks and devoted themselves solely to this “new” social site.
It seems as though Google might have gotten it right this time around. Even so, does this now mean that Google+ is a threat to other social networking sites? And of course, we all have probably asked this inevitable question at some point, “Which Social Network does Google+ threaten the most; Facebook or Twitter?”
Some users believe that Google+ allows for more privacy and control with features such as “Circles” and many are over-joyed by the “Hangouts” feature that only Google+ offers, but other than that there doesn’t seem to be anything else that makes Google+ stand out to make it a huge threat to other social sites. With that said, Google is the creator so it does have a lot of money that could potentially make it into something we have never seen before and we must remember that since it is “new” that we have not yet seen all that Google will be offering with Google+. It is only just the beginning.
However, if a comparison had to be made it seems as though Google+ is more like Twitter than it is of Facebook. Most of what is posted on this social network is related to content sharing like it is on Twitter, rather than connections being made as it is on Facebook.
An example of this would be with Google+’s “Circles” feature, users do not have to accept a “Friends Request” like on Facebook in order for their content to be shared with another, rather, users can simply put you in one of their circles which allows them to see what you are posting to your “Stream”. They do not need you to “accept” them in order to do this which is very similar to when you “Follow” someone on Twitter.
The look and feel is more like that of Facebook, with the exception that you cannot go to a user’s “Wall” to make a post for there is no “Wall” on Google+. In order to start a conversation with another user you must use the “+” symbol before the person’s name which again is similar to the way you would use Twitter with the “@” symbol to mention someone. Also, you can make comments on posts like you would on Facebook which cannot be done on Twitter.
These are only just a few features that seem to stand out the most in trying to make a comparison to other social networks and it seems Google+ is more like Twitter than it is Facebook, but does that mean it is a threat to one of these social networks or both? In having similarities certainly does not make it a threat, it will be the differences that could possibly bring one of these social sites to its knees.
Facebook wins because it has the people and Twitter wins because it has the easiest access to content, so what does Google+ have? “Hangouts”. This alone will not bring down Facebook or Twitter, but as Google+ continues to evolve and if it adds more features like “Hangouts” that other networks do not have, then the threat will be imminent. People want more ways to be social using technology and if Google+ offers more ways to do this and Facebook or Twitter does not then we might have another MySpace on our hands.
It does seem that at this point if Google does continue to woo audiences away from Facebook with more features like “Hangouts” and continues expanding in ways for people to share content even more than they can on Twitter, then and only then, will the world of social media as we know it be threatened by Google+.
Would YOU agree? Do you think Google+ is or will be a threat to Facebook or Twitter?