Will Google+ Kill Facebook?

Not long ago, I wrote that google does not have the DNA to do social sites correctly. They are engineers, who by default are not social. But that might be changing.

I recently checked out google+ and I have to say I like it. It’s elegant and finally brings some innovation to the social space.

But many will say that half the planet is on facebook, surely they are unassailable?We need only look at the quick demise of MySpace to see that social sites can fail as quickly as they rise. Andrewljohnson on hacker news said it best:

Most businesses can’t “die” suddenly. It’s very hard to turn a $850,000,000 business into a $35,000,000 in just a couple of years, unless something truly catastrophic or industry-changing occurs.

The exception to this rule is social internet companies. Social companies are built in a day and can die in a day – we’ve seen it happen again and again, and Facebook’s scale is no protection.

To beat Verizon, you need a network. To beat Google, you need search technology, data, and great engineers. To beat a car company, you need some factories. But to beat Zuckerburg, all you need it timing and a good strategy, and equivalent engineers. And in this case, Google seems credible on all fronts.

This is the first serious threat to Facebook’s existence.

If google is successful, I won’t be mourning facebook’s passing. It’s served a necessary purpose, but it’s walled garden, “incorporating” other’s technology, and evil PR tricks make it hard to be a fan. Google’s no saint, but at least they are mostly transparent and their motto is “don’t be evil”.

As xkcd explains, google+ may be a facebook clone that is just not run by facebook (and maybe that’s all we need)…

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