Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is clearly disturbed. In an apparent effort to retain Facebook users from exporting their friends lists to Google+ and setting up their online social hub there, Zuckerberg has said that the company is set to launch something awesome next week, without divulging what exactly is that awesome something.
Google+ is poised to overshadow Facebook for two apparent reasons.
The first major anti-Facebook factor is the seamless integration of Google products with a single Google account which will force users to spend time on Google+, even if they are die-hard fans of Facebook.
If you are browsing through Google-powered sites (which are almost omnipresent), a little red notification pops up on the top right of your browser window if a friend has added you in his/her circles, or an acquaintance has shared some interesting links, or someone has commented on a photo you have shared. Your natural response will be to click on the notification and ... you are not checking Finance news anymore, but planning to Hangout with friends available on Google Plus video chat!
Facebook users invariably stay on the site for over half-an-hour a day (the bare minimum), which is one of its greatest strengths. Since the online time allotment by a user generally remains a constant, Google Plus is bound to eat into the Facebook's time share, reducing it gradually. Keeping track of friends through two different social networks is cumbersome, which means Facebook has greater chances of losing out on users.
Google's tactic may not be subtle. But it's a sure way to increase traffic for Google products, especially for Google+.
The second powerful boost factor will be Google's ability to attract developers to their new platform (They have a great history; think about Android, it is a self-sufficient ecosystem in itself). Facebook is now taking a 30 percent cut of every game developer's business. Google, being a bigger giant ($30 billion in revenue each year) can afford to make it a 100 percent profit deal for developers by not taking any cuts. What more would they ask for?
If an extremely popular social network game like Zynga would switch platforms, it is sure to lure users to the newer network. Loyalty is not something Facebook can expect from developers right now.