Will Google+ Eventually Overtake Facebook as the Largest Social Network?
Google+ is a nice social network that is quite different from Facebook in many ways but it was all the rage when it came out and people were waiting for e-mail invites to join the network. The initial buzz has been over for quite a while, and now it is time to really see if Google+ can overtake Facebook at some point and become a more popular and larger social network.
The Numbers Are Not All-important
The numbers may take Google+ over Facebook at some point in the future, but numbers are only one part of the equation. There are plenty of people who use both sites but do not necessarily keep up with their account and post on a consistent basis. Rather than assuming that the number tell the whole story, it is better for people to think about which site is easier to use and which site people are more likely to keep up with.
To date, Facebook has been the hub for people finding old high school and college friends while Google_ appears to be the site where people join the friends that they already know. There’s nothing wrong with this paradigm, but it is something to consider when looking at the numbers. Google+ could end up with more users one day, but that doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things if people are not keeping up with their accounts.
What Do The Sites Offer?
Facebook came out with their Messenger and Messenger app to keep people in touch, and then Google came out with their own Messenger for Google+. Then, they came up with the Hangouts app and function that allows people to do video calls just like they are on Skype or FaceTime. The thing about Google is that it will always be ahead of Facebook in terms of innovating products because Google, the company as a whole, is working on many more platforms than Facebook. Facebook is focused only on being a social network. They can put all of their resources into making sure that their network is more user-friendly and more accessible. Google, on the other hand, has all of these other resources that they can pour into Google+ so that they can make the whole experience at Google+ a better experience.
The problem is that Google+ is still not as good an experience as Facebook. This is mostly because of how Google has constructed their social network. Think about how these sites let people sign up and manage their accounts.
The Account Setup
The accounts that people use to sign up for Facebook can be anything the user wants. People can use just about any e-mail address to sign up for Facebook. Plus, they can use their Facebook account as an extra e-mail address that people can send messages to from their e-mail accounts.
On Google+, users must have a Google account. While this is normal for a company that hosts its own e-mail system, the problem with being forced to sign up for a Google account to get a Google+ profile is that it is annoying for many people who have had the same e-mail address for, at this point, decades.
People are not going to sign up for their Google+ profile and automatically take on a Google email address just for the fun of it. One of things that Google must do in order to make their network more accessible is to stop people from having to use Google accounts to sign up for the network. Everyone can find one or two people who haven’t bothered with Google+ because they just don’t see why it’s worth the trouble.
Dissatisfaction With Facebook
Many people leave Facebook on a daily basis simply to streamline their lives and spend less time on their computer. However, there are just as many people signing up for the network to replace the people who left in the first place. Facebook is big enough that it can replenish itself even when people leave because they have a problem with the site’s policies and layout.
Ultimately, most of these people are going to go to social networks like Twitter and Tumblr to keep up with their friends. People can text their friends, communicate with them on Twitter and enjoy being on social networks without having to automatically go to Google+ just because it’s the only other game in town. Google+ is far from the only other game in town.
Therefore, dissatisfaction with Facebook is not going to turn people just to Google+. Even if Google stooped low enough (which they haven’t) to do a smear campaign against Facebook, most people would not automatically sign up for Google+.
The Problems With Google+
Google+ is a nice little social network, but it has problems that many people simply do not have the time and energy to deal with. However, every update to Google+ throws a wrench into the works of the network.
There was at time when the network was updated and it stopped all Messenger communications and even lost most people’s conversations. There have also been updates that have caused people’s friends and acquaintances to be rearranged. Every new update to the network seems to either make it harder to use or makes it more confusing for the people who were using it.
Those who lost whole conversations on the Messenger are more likely to talk somewhere else. People who just happen to have a Google+ profile will likely let it stay stale instead working with it. In the end, the site may not be able to keep up with Facebook simply because they were the last player in the game.
Will Facebook every be overtaken by the great Google social network? Given the information that we have today, it is safe to say that it may never happen. The likelihood of Facebook falling out of favor is still there, but that does not mean people are going to go straight to Google+ as an alternative. There are too many other alternatives out for the people who want to be on a social network and keep up with their friends.
When it is all said and done, it is more likely that both social networks will fall out of favor in deference to something else that is going to be even easier to use and even newer. Because Google+ was the new kid on the block and didn’t manage to overtake Facebook, it’s more likely that a newer network will overtake both of these sites in the future.
Rather than thinking that the big, bad Facebook will be overtaken by Google+, it is much better to wait for both of these sites to be taken over by a new site that might not even be formed yet. Google+ is a nice little social network, but it is not the social network that will be able to overtake Facebook. A dedicated social network with no other purpose will probably be the winner in this battle, but it is not going to be Google+.
Having a Facebook or Google+ profile is perfectly fine, but people must realize that neither one is going to “win” any time soon.
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