Google+ vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

Google+ vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

Summary: Facebook definitively won over MySpace as the dominant social network, and it really could only take a powerhouse like Google to present a challenge at this point in time. Who will come out as the de facto choice for social networking?

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Facebook definitively won over MySpace as the dominant social network, and it really could only take a powerhouse like Google to present a challenge at this point in time.

But really, there are too many choices now as to where to look up contacts, share links and photos, and update status messages. Where will it all end? And who will come out as the de facto choice for social networking?

The easy answer would seem to be Facebook. It's the status quo of social networking with over 500 million members strong - possibly 750 million at this point.

However, Facebook isn't beloved by everyone, including its own subscriber base. In fact, it was just placed in a top 10 list of the most hated companies in America. You know it's bad when your company in that group includes airlines and cable companies.

Additionally, every time Facebook rolls out a face lift to its user interface or new features seen as threats to privacy, there's always an inevitable and very loud backlash.

On the other hand, Google has certainly found itself targeted by users and been criticized about privacy settings and issues. And not every Google release has found an fan base. Remember Google Wave? We'd prefer not to.

However, Google has presented the first serious challenge to Facebook in years with a platform that doesn't look that far off from Facebook itself. It also integrates several of Google's existing features, such as Buzz and Gchat.

Google+ has already caught on remarkably quickly for a new social networking tool set that is still running on an invite-only basis, but that's because it has the brand name and the force to roll out a complex (yet seemingly simple) platform.

The problem with the Google+ launch is that we have yet another place now to look for contacts, share photos, and update status messages. I feel like I have to update Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all the time now. (Yes, Tweets can be configured to go to Buzz and Facebook automatically, but I'd prefer if every tweet didn't do that. It gets very annoying to friends and clogs up the News Feed.)

I don't want to have to update and search through two social media sites all the time. I'd rather just use one. The simplest way to resolve this would be to have some kind of plug-in application that automatically shares updates between the two platforms, but given that Google and Facebook are going head-to-head here, that seems like an unlikely solution.

Additionally, I don't know if I should update my status on Google Buzz or directly on the Google+ news feed. Buzz updates do appear in a Circles profile, but they get relegated to the back end under a different tab. So if I want my friends to see it, where should I put it? These might sound like ridiculous and trivial questions (which they are), but they are actually important when it comes to the business of social media.

However, Google does make it easier to find contacts as it just lifts them from one's Gmail account, or even from Yahoo and Hotmail address books. (Although, the problem here is that I now have to clean up my contacts folder as multiple email accounts are popping up for the same people. I'll have to consolidate them to make things easier rather the system sending out an email each time to the same person "Rachel King has added you on Google+" That seems stalkerish.)

On Facebook, users have to enter names manually one by one to find new friends. Facebook members who have been on the site for years don't have this problem as they've already been adding people constantly. Those who are new to Facebook (whoever out there is left) will have a harder time building a contacts base.

At this point, there isn't an answer to this puzzle. Google+ makes building a contacts base easier, but most people are already accustomed to Facebook. I find it hard to believe that Facebook would fall to Google any time soon - if ever.

Yes, Google+ has presented a fresh challenge to Mark Zuckerberg's social network. But it's going to take a considerable amount of time before Google+ can be considered the default choice in sharing media and keeping track of contacts.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Google

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22 comments
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  • Not a fan of Facebook ....

    ... but based on history, I doubt Google+ will be a Facebook killer. Google has the tendency of just being a copycat with sub-par implementations, then pretty much abandoning the project once it feels it is good enough for them.
    wackoae
    • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

      @wackoae Google+ implementation is actually pretty sleek. It is definitely a good product as many reviewers are saying, and in my opinion it is more disrupting to Twitter than Facebook actually.
      BioNerd
      • Sleek, but the problem with Rachel's question is that Facebook *already* is

        @BioNerd: ... definitive contacts hub currently. Google+ has to be not just better, but way more better than Facebook to make people move. This is quite hard to achieve and not necessary even possible at all now (comparing to the times Myspace to Facebook transition).
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

        @BioNerd
        Clash of the Titans
        http://socialnetworkingkong.blogspot.com/
        software_engineer19@...
    • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

      @wackoae Well good news, Google + is not sub par, in fact it superior in many ways.

      Of cause we have not seen the introduction of adverts, but so far the interface is clean, usable, and tidy. Circles is a dream come true. Sparks just sparkle, and Hangout just does not have competition at the moment, certainly not at Facebook.

      The only problem google as it that they have yet to integrate all there other services, Docs, Youtube, Blogger and Calendar but that only a matter of time.
      Knowles2
    • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

      @wackoae Well good news, Google + is not sub par, in fact it superior in many ways.

      Of cause we have not seen the introduction of adverts, but so far the interface is clean, usable, and tidy. Circles is a dream come true. Sparks just sparkle, and Hangout just does not have competition at the moment, certainly not at Facebook.

      The only problem google as it that they have yet to integrate all there other services, Docs, Youtube, Blogger and Calendar but that only a matter of time.
      Knowles2
    • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

      @wackoae
      Clash of the Titans
      http://socialnetworkingkong.blogspot.com/
      software_engineer19@...
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    "I feel like I have to update Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all the time now."

    Join us who don't feel the need to update anything, and you'll be a lot happier and have more free time.

    "Additionally, I don?t know if I should update my status on Google Buzz or directly on the Google+ news feed."

    Don't update anything. Keith Olbermann realized this when he was being persuaded to use "social media" then he saw one of his colleagues tweet that they were eating a bagel. Keith had to declare on air that nobody needs or wants to know when you're eating a bagel. Similarly, nobody really cares what anybody else is doing every minute of the day. Those who honestly care about what you're doing are the people you... well, communicate with, like your spouse or a real-life friend.

    The answer to this article's question is contained within, but not clearly. It's like I quoted: people will eventually feel this is a chore rather than a benefit, and finally stop doing it altogether. It'll go the way of pet rocks and drive-in theaters. People will choose to live life rather than spending an hour or more per day letting people they don't really know know what they're doing.
    jgm@...
  • You don't have to...

    I'm with jgm@.
    I think, though it is fun to be with friends all the time, social network users usually end up wasting a lot of their time. Just think about how much time you spend in social network daily.

    NOBODY has to tweet, or facebook... or google plus... I suppose social networks are the way users entertain themselves by. It's like playing basketball, reading a favorite book, in general enjoying the spare time, but rather useless and wasteful one.
    msn92
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    As soon as Google+ opens to the general public, am gonna close my crapbook account and permanently switch to Google+
    shellcodes_coder
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    Waves @ Between the Lines
    Larry Dignan, Andrew Nusca and Rachel King
    Are you kidding social sites are a direct line to big brothers forehead , the morons up load everything they are doing , Whoots wee just came from a party Bob weee let me post some pic's . Humm well group 17 1/2 loves budweiser . Why do you think it went from a nothing to a billion dollar site , like almost over night ? I think it will go half an half , face will probably get the inadequate users an google+ the business groups
    iguanaware
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    Facebook can import from e-mail too.

    I just wish they'd open up the darn thing, so we can see if it's any good.
    bradavon
  • WTF are you talking about ?

    FB lets you a dd contact from your hotmail account too... and you kniw you can also add them by email :/ !
    Google and its stupid invite-only product's beginning to piss me off :P
    tryonQc
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    As long as Google+ has a developer API we developers can write an app that will let you update/read everything in one place.
    Zheldon
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    Google have marketed this one pretty well. The fact it has only been submitted to a selection of difinitive people makes it desirable. Everyone wants to check it out because the buzz about it brings a trend people will want to follow. I thinks theres definatly scope for the platform to take over facebook as the social network site is turning a bit annoying and people want something new in there lives. But has facebook intertwined itself around the world too deeply to be over taken? and like you said-can people be bothered to move over?
    HayleyScotchegg
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    Is Plus a Facebook killer? Probably not, but it will drag away all the FB users who constantly complain about the games and toy apps popping up on Facebook. That's interesting when you first join and have no friends on the service, but you quickly discover how useless it all is. Every day I see more of my friends who are simply on Facebook to discuss topics with their friends, and a lot of those friends are not "real life" people, but folks you meet online thanks to similar interests.

    As for updating, people update what they want. If they post stupid stuff, they eventually discover nobody wants to be their friend, or follower, or included in their circle. The infamous "I'm eating a bagel for lunch, here's a picture of my sandwich" is just another of those things people say to damn the system. It's not Twitter/Facebook/Plus's fault that idiots use their tools. If you constantly bang your hand with a hammer, maybe you shouldn't be using one.
    big red one
  • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

    no matter what the say, fb will be a default social network that will eventually eat google's ad share more than google+ can ever imagine. All this killer or btter social network from google is because of this "artificial" scarcity. Since when did google's beta products have limited beta? look at most of there products, they remain beta for years. All this is creating a buzz around the brand. As soon as it becomes public, people will come back to facebook because one thing we have learned from xp, google.com and iphone is people dont like change. Besides, if i dont have google+, i have one less place to worry about my privacy.
    abhi.jamwal
  • Privacy

    If Google maintains their stance of allowing users to control privacy, it will be quite unlike Facebook and will draw people away from FB who feel creeped out by FB.

    Another thing is that the more Google+ respects privacy and expands, the more FB will be forced to better consider privacy. Until now, they've been able to do just about anything they want with people's data simply because they're the only game in town. (And that's why I'll never be on FB.)

    But, we'll see, it's only very early times for G+ and no one can say which service will be more popular in 5 years (a lifetime in internet age).
    justthisguyyouknow
  • Google??

    Two reasons I will stick with Facebook. First, Google's rather spotty record on privacy; not that Facebook is great, but they are at least not in bed with the government. Second and most importantly, I just do not have the time to switch everything over and I think the vast majority of Facebook users are either happy with their service or don't have the time to switch either. Facebook is far from perfect, but while it has it's flaws; I don't think most users think those flaws warrant the time and effort to switch to Google.
    MichaelWells
    • RE: Google vs. Facebook: Which one will be the definitive contacts hub?

      @MichaelWells

      Better be alert and ready, the Chinese government wants to invest around 2 billion on Facebook, and even tough is a minority share the will try to either influence on FB or get technology/ability to track people on there.

      Of course that is my opinion of what the People's Republic might want with Facebook, but I am sure that I can't trust them.
      czorrilla