The One Word that Will Give Google+ an Edge over Facebook and Possibly Even a Victory
By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)
Google+, the search giant's new social network has not been getting too much love from the blogosphere lately. There is this Pandodaily post, which obviously got support from one of its writers and friends, MG Siegler in this post, and even the pro Google blogger Danny Sullivan had some negative words to say.
To sum up all the hating, many people are bothered by the fact that Google is taking advantage of its strong position on the Web to promote its own service. Google recently released Search Plus your World, which displays Google+ results before organic search results. The company also added a Share option to the search page. This bothers a lot of people.
Let me get this straight. Google is offering you the world's most advanced suite of Web applications including its search engine, Gmail, Google Calendar, Chrome, and on and on. They are giving it to you for free. No hidden costs. They are giving you a seamless and infinite backup of all your media with Google+ and they are even backing up your mobile phone for you for free. And you have a problem with them trying to bring these services to more users? OK, just making sure I understand.
Now moving along, MG and others have continuously doubted the chances of success for Google+. Basically, they make the claim that Facebook solves that problem and no one needs another social network. Yet, for some reason, no one can stop talking about it. Google+ is everywhere and its growth is tremendous. Personally, I have no doubt this platform will take off, it has already begun to, but let's put my opinion aside. 100 million users already on Google+ and 400 million expected by the end of the year. Still not convinced?
As far as how active those users are, the engagement I am seeing on Google+ is close to five times the engagement I am seeing on Facebook or Twitter. I am talking about the same post, the same picture, the same blog post generating five times the amount of clicks that those other platforms generate.
So what is this one mysterious word I talk about that will give Google+ the ability to challenge and possibly overcome Facebook's complete social dominance? The one word is... Mobile.
Here is the thing. It is no surprise that the mobile space is exploding. It is constantly breaking new records. Smartphone sales, app downloads, developer revenue, etc. etc. Mobile is slowly replacing the Web as the primary source for content and social activity.
Guess who is the undisputed ruler of the mobile world? Nope, not Apple, at least not as far as market share is concerned and that is what matters here. Google is! Now, Android already offers some Google+ integration but if Google's previous patterns of behavior are any indication, the future versions of Android will come fully integrated with Google+.
When that happens, you know who will suffer? Facebook. I know what you're thinking. "Facebook is too strong for Google+ to even matter". Yes, of course, just as MySpace was too strong for Facebook to even matter. Or how strong iPhone was for Android to even matter. There is no such thing! Even Google was the search underdog in the beginning.
With Android spreading like a cancer, and Google's well-known strategy to integrate all its services, there is no question in my mind that when the mobile revolution reaches its peak, Google will be all over it and will check in using Google+.