Why Google+ Will Overtake Facebook In 2 Years Or Less [Opinion]

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google vs facebookSocial networking appears to be here to stay; human beings are social creatures, and we love to know what our peers are doing and thinking. The platform, however, can definitely shift and change with time. Crowds are notoriously fickle, and a platform that seems awesome one day can seem outdated and lame the next (MySpace, anyone?).

Facebook has around 800 million users – that is more than double the population of the United States. But I am here to tell you why in two years, Facebook will shrink to become a shriveled remnant of its current glorious self, squashed by the inexorable rise of Google’s social network. Read on to see how the future unfolds.

Embrace & Extend

If the phrase “embrace and extend” has a familiar ring to it, that’s because it was a part of Microsoft’s notorious strategy, Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish. But Google of 2011 is a very different beast than Microsoft of the early nineties – far more sophisticated and aware of the danger of seeming monopolistic. So they’re not going to “extinguish” Facebook with proprietary extensions or anything as crass. Rather, they are simply going to integrate Google+ so tightly with all of their other services, it would seem like an inseparable part of your online existence. Which leads me to the next point:

It Feels Like A Part Of The Web

google vs facebook

Facebook has been repeatedly described as a “walled garden”, even by such heavyweights as Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Even if you’re not the dude who actually invented the World Wide Web, you can probably understand why Facebook is a walled garden; it feels closed off. You have to log in to see just about anything; you “go on Facebook”, and Facebook apps run “on” Facebook. Conversely, Google+ seems to be everywhere at once, even at this early stage. The new Google Bar makes it seem even more so, because all of the links to Google services have been folded into the logo, making your profile image even more noticeable than before.

The fact that Google’s +1 button embedded all over the Web are interactive adds to the pervasive feel. You get to share the current site and say something about it without ever really leaving it or “going on Google+”.

The Search Advantage

google and facebook

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Now, why is that +1 button getting plastered all over the Web? That’s because many webmasters feel it may help them rank better on Google searches. SEO is a huge industry, and Google is ever secretive about the myriad of factors it uses to rank websites. “Social signals” (Facebook and Twitter shares) are thought to be used, and so are Google+ shares. So naturally, every serious website trying to get somewhere in the online world will embed a Google+ button, giving Google+ amazing market penetrations (even more so than Facebook’s Like button, I believe).

Users Trust Google

google and facebook

Facebook’s disregard for the privacy of their users is notorious. So much so, that the FTC recently accused Facebook in engaging in “unfair and deceptive” practices. The FTC eventually made Facebook play nice, but it didn’t have to do the same with Google. Google has somehow managed to avoid the ire of users so far, and has not gained the notoriety Facebook has.

Selective Sharing

google and facebook

Circles are a fantastic concept; they are at the very core of Google+, and they fix a huge problem with Facebook. Why would I want my grandmother to see pictures of me partying? Facebook does have “groups” and a degree of selective sharing, but it feels bolted on. Circles feel like an intrinsic part of Google+ – something built into the system from the ground up. They make managing a wide network of contacts effortless, and more importantly, they make online content sharing feel safe.

Early Adopters Are Already There

google vs facebook

“Everybody” is on Facebook; that’s great. But I say, the really important people (at least in the tech space) are already on Google+. And if you message someone on Google+, they are more likely to notice you. The trendsetters are there, and the rest of the world will inevitably follow.

Bottom Line

I could probably think of several more reasons why Google+ is going to leave Facebook in the dust, but I think these are compelling enough. Do you already use Google+? Did I convince you to start? Or am I dead wrong, and Facebook is here to stay as reigning king of the social networking world forever more? Let me know in the comments!

Image Credits: ShutterStock, ShutterStock

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Comments (65)
  • thenonhacker

    Really? We should trust Google?

    Google Sued Over Safari Privacy Snafu
    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Google-Sued-Over-Safari-Privacy-Snafu-395296/

    Google is getting more and more evil than ever before.

  • Wvpspdude

    Personally, I hope that Facebook stays on top or a different social network prevails.  I don’t think that Google needs to compete with every company on Earth.

  • Steph

    The article says:”It is true that the Google of 2011 is not the charming company it was a few years ago, and that they famously dropped the “don’t be evil” motto back in 2009.” Are you sure about that? The article you’ve linked to was an April Fool.

    I seriously dislike Facebook. It is annoying, tacky, intrusive, untrustworthy and badly designed. Even thinking about it makes me irritable. Google on the other hand rarely puts a foot wrong, providing me with all the essential tools I need, as well as inspiration, innovation and the occasional smile. So yes, I hope that Google+ overtakes Facebook.

    • Erez Zukerman

      Woah, thanks for pointing out the April Fool — It is true, and since it was repeated in many sources I did not realize. So good on that one. I will be asking my editor to revise the piece to remove that link. But the main point remains, as can be seen here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don’t_be_evil — basically, Google has not been following Don’t be Evil very closely, and it seems to have taken a back seat in recent years.

      Also, I’m glad you agree with the post as a whole. :)

  • Boocapes

    Im an older user (60+) so I dont adapt to new systems as fast but if I can I will move to Google + its just hard to change.

  • Nope

    Google is doing everything they can to make G+ #1, but I don’t think it will overtake Facebook.  Most I see using G+ still use Facebook and most I see using Facebook don’t use G+.  I think loyalty to Facebook will keep many from leaving. 

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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.