Why Google+ Will Not Overtake Facebook, Not In 2 Years, Not Ever [Opinion]

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google vs facebookA while ago, Erez published a good piece about why he thinks Google+ will overtake Facebook in less than 2 years. While some of his arguments are solid, and I happen to like what Google is doing with Google+, I find it hard to believe that we’ll see Facebook disappearing in as little as two years. In fact, I think it’s going to take way more than one new social network to get rid of the social phenomenon called Facebook.

Before I begin let me just state that I am not against innovation, and I really do like Google+, usually even more than Facebook. But just because we like something better, doesn’t mean it’s going to win. Here is why, in my opinion, Facebook will stick around for a long long time to come.

The Real People Are There

Do you know of many people who don’t have a Facebook account? Whether they rarely use it or spend their entire day updating their status, one way or another, most people we know are using Facebook. And the numbers are only growing. How many people do you know who use Google+? And I don’t mean the opinion leaders or celebrities; I’m talking about the real people, your friends.

google vs facebook

True, the Google+ picture changes according to country, but in some countries, like where I live, most people don’t use Google+, even though Gmail is highly popular. So great, I’m on Google+, but who else is there? My news stream is made up of the 4 same people all the time, and all I’m left to do is add to my circles people I don’t even know. But don’t we have Twitter for that?

Facebook Is A Groundbreaker

will google plus beat facebook

Say what you want, Facebook was there first. It may not be the first ever social network, but it’s definitely the first one to revolutionize our lives as it did. Nowadays, when people hear of Google+ (and I don’t mean people who hate Facebook anyway), the first thing they ask themselves is “how is this better than Facebook?”. And it doesn’t even matter if Google+ is better than Facebook. The point is that is has to be in order for people to move there. Even Google are pitching Google+ on the grounds of how it compares to Facebook.

The average person has been using Facebook for 3-4 years. Here comes this new service which is the same, but different. Why should he move there? And this very thing will and does stop many people from migrating everything over to Facebook. As long as people don’t do that, Facebook will stick around.

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Why Should I Add The Same People Again?

Building on the two previous point, there is the issue of friends we’ve already added on Facebook. Personally, I find it weird to add the same people all over again on a new network. When speaking of close friends, this is not a problem, but what about all those people who are acquaintances, or those you drifted apart from over the years, but still like to follow through Facebook? It’s just too weird to go and add them again on Google+.

This social awkwardness leads many people to have very few people in their circles, which prevents Google+ from really taking off for them. It might be a good place to follow the opinion leaders, but when it comes to your real friends, most people will still go back to Facebook.

Who Doesn’t Know Of Facebook?

will google plus beat facebook

Let’s have a little experiment. Call your parents and ask them if they know what Facebook is. Now ask them if they know Google+. What were the answers? This, again, will probably change from country to country, but it all boils down to the fact that everyone knows Facebook. Whether they use it or not, they know about it.

Everyone also knows Google. It’s where you search for things. And although Google does much more than that, people do not think of it as a social network. And until this changes, Facebook is not going anywhere.

Easier To Create An Account

This brings me to the somewhat elaborate process of creating a Google+ account. I know, it seems simple, but what if you don’t already use Google products? Hard to imagine, but some people actually don’t have a Google account. So first, you need to create a Google account.

will google plus beat facebook

Now is when you find out you can’t use anything but your full real name. Aliases? Nicknames? Forget it. Full disclosure is the name of Google’s game. Are you under 18? Until not so long ago, you couldn’t even join Google+. It had to be perfect first.

So while it’s really not the end of the world to open a Google account, it’s still much harder to join Google+, especially for people who are not very tech-savvy. Facebook is much less restrictive, and while this might not always be for the best, it’s going to keep it around for a very long time yet.

Does NOT Feel Like Part Of The Web

One of the most common arguments in favor of Google+ is that it integrates with everything and it’s simply part of your web experience. You get notifications no matter which Google page you are on, and when searching for something on Google, you sometimes find Google+ shares before the actual articles. But is this a good thing?

google vs facebook

What I like about Facebook is how I can shut it off whenever I want and simply forget it. I can’t do this with Google+. The thing is everywhere. Some people have even closed their account because of the flood of notifications they simply couldn’t get rid of. I don’t want my social network to be part of my e-mail service or part of my search when I work. I want to access it when I’m feeling social, and I want to be able to control it.

Facebook, with all its imitations, at least gives me that.

Conclusion

Facebook is far from perfect. This article is not here to argue why Facebook is better than Google+, but why Google+ will have a very hard time taking over. What do you think? Is Facebook going to stick around for ages to come, or am I completely wrong about this? What do you think is the future of social networking? Share in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock, Shutterstock

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Comments (57)
  • Sonic

    just wait for it facebook is dying a slowly and noone will expect it until its too late

  • Rahul

    Obviously Facebook rocks no doubt about it.

  • Josh Beswick

    There is no competition between Google+ and Facebook in my opinion. 

    Recently I found out about an artist who was hosting ART LECTURES weekly through G+ Hangouts.  Each hangout session can be recorded and uploaded to youtube.  Viewers can join in on webcam conversations and ask questions or start a discussion.  I saw the celebrity felicia day having a BOOK CLUB discussion in a hangout session (It wasn’t my thing.. but its damn good use of the feature!) You can even collaborate on documents and watch youtube videos together in a G+ hangout session..You can’t do that with Facebook.  

    I swear, each and every update to G+ makes Facebook look more and more like a waste of time.  Facebook has become the place where I dump my unwanted uninteresting thoughts like “I hate winter” and “Just ate some nachos”.  Meanwhile Google+ is the place I dump all the things that really matter to me.. like my blogposts, my artwork, my animations, and my videos.  ((My galleries, by the way, have far more pictures in them than my facebook galleries do because even before G+ I uploaded to picasa to link them to people.))

    It takes time to let all these people drizzle out of their little closed box (Facebook) and get away from farmville.. but I believe it will happen, slowly.. just like myspace.

    And this isn’t like when Facebook and Myspace were competing.  There was literally no reason to switch to Facebook other than all of my friends were there. But Google+ is genuinely bringing features to the table that interest me as an artist and a nerd.

    • Yaara

      First of all, thanks for the elaborated comment, it was very interesting to read.

      I agree that with every update Google+ gets better and better. I also agree that there are features in Google+ Facebook simply doesn’t have, and when they try to implement, they’re inferior. Like I said in the article, I actually think Google+ is better, and I really want to use it, but the simple truth is that I barely have any people in my circles, and not a lot of people have me, and so far I just can’t find anything to do there.

      I don’t actually use Facebook all that much either, but when I want to share something, I share it there, because that’s where I have the most people. Simple as that.

  • gpvprasad

    I stopped facebook almost because I am finding very less time in watching information…………
    I use google+ because all your posts only appear to me there:)

  • peter101

    I am a member of many social networks like diigo, wakoopa, reddit and twitter where i met a lot of people base on our common interest but most(or better ALL) of this people are not even in my country so they will never be part of my real life
    now facebok is the only network i learn news about people i personally know and care about their daily life and almost all my friends are there
    none of my friends are using google+ so i can only find out news about people i don’t know so its completely different from facebook but
    how is that different from twitter ?, google+ may have the same look as facebook but basically it has the same function as twitter and this would be an interesting
    comparison
    although i don’t see it win there either

    • Yaara

      I agree, and also wrote this exact thing in the article. But Google+ is not pitching itself as a Twitter alternative, and can’t really be one since the whole idea of it is totally different.

      I feel that Google itself is pushing Google+ to be a Facebook alternative, and I don’t think it can truly be that. Hence the comparison to Facebook.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.