Over 10 million Google+ users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

Summary:Is it possible for Google+ and Facebook to work side by side, or will it divide the masses into one camp or the other?

As Rachel King reports, Google confirmed only a short while ago that the new social network on the block has reached over 10 million profiles.

While it's still only an invite-only service, only in the last week has my Facebook and email inbox gone stir crazy with the vast number of my friends and colleagues wanting an invite.

So many have told me though, however, it was more out of curiosity, than wanting to try out a new social network.

Nevertheless, by reaching the 10 million users mark in as little as three weeks has been the highest growth of users to any social network seen before.

Google+ has without doubt gone viral.

But at this point, Google has now surpassed the 'social factor' issue, where a social network can only be effective if a users' contacts are using the service too. It does not mean that the most difficult issue Google has to face is over.

Google+ may one day 'be a Facebook', but not while Facebook is still around.

(Image source)

From the downfall of Enron to the impending FBI investigation and Parliamentary investigation that News Corp. has to face, it goes to show that even the high and mighty can fall -- and when they do, they go down like a tonne of bricks.

But in terms of user interaction and similar functionality, Google will have to contend with the vast feature set that Facebook still has to offer, plus the growing expanse of features from movies to the highly probable integration of music.

Along with that, Google+ will no doubt be accused in the coming months and years of its service of copying the world's largest social network, boasting over 700 million users -- dwarfing that of Google's new service.

For a start, Google+ needs to be seen to be an application contender; a platform for which applications can plug into the power of the social world, without the spate of privacy disasters that Facebook has had to deal with.

It may take a while, but I see two concurrent social networks. All but inevitably, the two will have to inter-connect with one another; otherwise the world will be as polarised as the younger generation between the iPhone and the BlackBerry.

Two live side by side, but only one can really win. And it may have to be at the expense of the downfall of the older social sibling.

Related content:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Collaboration, Google

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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