July 8, 2011 Leave a comment
Last few weeks were very hectic in the Social Media world. Google came out with Google plus, and then the tech bloggers started evaluating it. Overall theme: Google+ beats Facebook in the Look & Feel as well as in the Features, but it will be a steep climb for Google to fetch users from Facebook.
I would put things in a different perspective. Its not that Google will win this contest…its that Facebook might (or will) loose it. Advanced usability features of Google plus will make a difference, but the biggest difference will be made by Facebook’s shortcomings.
Soft Power: Google vs Facebook
Google wields a huge soft-power over its bigger Social Networking rival. Analyzing the sentiments in blogs and comments, it is quite evident that there is a general sense of “enjoyment” or “happiness” in the tech community. It appears that people just want someone to pose a challenge to Facebook’s increasing dominance.
Maybe it is Facebook’s blatant breach of Privacy, its apathy towards developers, its philosophy that users revolt but eventually concede to the changes. Or maybe its Facebook’s open PR attempt to malign Google. Maybe people are just awestruck or a little bit envious by the meteoric rise of Facebook. I can not pin-point exactly what it is that people do not like about Facebook but it is still (and will remain for a long time) the biggest Social Network in the world.
Maybe people did not have a choice..and now that they feel that there might be an alternative to Facebook, they feel overjoyed. Its kindof like the Arab spring where people are joyous that they have an option to get an alternative rather than listen to a dictatorial regime.
Its not that Google is everything good and Facebook is everything evil. Google also breaches on People’s privacy quite openly. But most people do not feel “happy” or “over-joyous” over the success of bing (search engine from Microsoft).
So why are people so happy about Google Plus and not about bing? Difference is Google’s soft-power that has a comforting and soothing effect on people. Something that Facebook and Microsoft do not have in their DNA.