Call It What It Is: A Success!
Google+, unlike their previous forays into social media, has to be called a success. They have racked up more than 25 million site visitors in just a month, putting pressure on the worlds most popular social media site, Facebook. Their success in an area where they have previously failed spectacularly can hardly be overlooked.
Of course, neither can the fact they still have a ways to go.
Facebook Scared? Maybe
Speculation abounds as to whether or not Facebook is worried about the seemingly overnight success of Google+. Of course they have not come right out and admitted they are worried, but it seems likely they have noticed just how well Google+ is doing. Only a fool would ignore the rise of Google+ in an area everyone thought Google had long since given up on. While Google+ may not be perfect it has some intuitive features which some users find much easier to use. It also has the cache of Google’s name behind it.
With only a few weeks of life in Beta testing behind it, there is hardly enough information about Google+ available to make a firm decision as to whether or not it will continue to succeed, but that seems like a pretty good bet. In the meantime you can bet Facebook executives will be watching the situation very closely.
While the rest of us await our invitations….
Google+ Is Everything Google’s Other Social Efforts Weren’t
Google+, by contrast, has been hailed by many users as everything Google’s previous social efforts weren’t: attractively designed, easy to use, and with some appealing features such as the use of Circles to separate a user’s social graph into different groups. The company’s approach to the use of pseudonyms has gotten criticism from users—including us—but apart from that, it has been well-received. And according to ComScore (SCOR), Google+ got to 25 million users more than 10 times faster than any other service in the history of social networking (although some are already complaining it is a ghost town).
Last week, Google upped the ante by adding social games including the popular Angry Birds and Bejeweled to the platform. And that entry into social games definitely got Facebook’s attention, since games are one of the big drivers of revenue and engagement on the larger social network, thanks to a partnership with social-gaming leader Zynga.
Not only did Facebook quickly tweak its game-related features to make them more appealing to developers such as Zynga but a Facebook executive also seemed downright snippy when asked about this new competitor at a recent game-industry event, according to a report in Fortune magazine. In talking about Google’s offer to developers—the search company is offering to take only 5 percent of the proceeds from games, in contrast to Facebook’s 30 percent—Director of Game Partnerships Sean Ryan said: “Google is at 5 percent because they don’t have any users.”
Like McDonald’s and Starbucks
Ryan went on to describe Google’s effort as being similar to McDonald’s (MCD) getting into coffee in an attempt to compete with Starbucks (SBUX) (although that might not be the best comparison from Facebook’s point of view, since a number of analysts believe McDonald’s entry into the coffee business put substantial competitive pressure on Starbucks). And the Facebook executive described Google’s launch as a copycat move, saying the company had managed to “emulate aspects of our system, which … they have the right to do.”
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