After the mega failure of Google Wave and Google Buzz , Google may have hit the bull’s eye with Google+ in social networking ‘circles’ by smartly integrating Facebook and Twitter with a smattering of additional features. But the fact is, it is yet to get into public domain and prove successful there.
Facebook never boasted of being an all-round Internet tool and is not a product offered by an Internet giant. Facebook is more personal and has a personality of its own which kept evolving since its campus network days. It currently has more than 750 million active users around the world.
Google+ seems to have bowled over techies and journalists who had a look at its beta version (or field trial, as Google prefers to call it). Three things about Google+ that stands out are: its concept of ‘circles’ for easy connect and categorizing contacts under different titles, ‘hangouts’ enabling video chat for groups of up to 10 people and better privacy policies.
However, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg seems unfazed and has already become the most followed user on Google+. According to media reports, Zuckerberg feels that Facebook has already achieved a massive social network forming an underlying social graph.
Facebook has established itself in the minds, hearts and daily routines of its users and needs only innovation to keep it going. However, Facebook’s recent tie-up with Skype did not prove as ‘awesome’ as Zuckerberg tried to make it sound before the official announcement.
Facebook now offers one-on-one video chat via Skype but the feature came in too late, for people had been anticipating it for a long time and Google+ already has ‘hangouts’. To this, Zuckerberg says that according to the statistics majority of the Skype users prefer one-on-one chat and group video calling may be introduced later.
In fact, Facebook's emphasis has always been on pleasing the masses. It is one of the reasons why Facebook is yet to do something extraordinarily big in the mobile market and is taking so much time in building an iPad app. Facbook continues to concentrate on its desktop users and their preferences. For Facebook, geeks and techies can wait.
Facebook's advantage is that it has been there for a long time now and its users have their worlds set on it. It will be a herculean task for Facebook users to move all their contacts to a new site and get used to it. Also, Google+ is still in its infancy stage. Its mettle will be known only once it reaches the masses, the people who can either make it or break it.