Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

Summary: Ever since Google+ launched, Facebook has been improving its service left, right, and center. I don't think Mountain View is the sole reason, but it has definitely helped motivate Palo Alto.

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Google+ launched on June 28, 2011. It got rave reviews. Many said it would kill Facebook overnight. I, along with many others, went out to buy some popcorn. This was going to be an epic battle, because like I've said many times, competition is a good thing.

For the last three months, Facebook has transformed like never before. Do I think most of these changes would have happened if Google+ never arrived on the scene? Sure. I also strongly believe Facebook would have taken much longer to roll out new products, kill existing features, and would have taken a lot fewer risks.

Instead, Google pushed Facebook to act quicker and more viciously than ever before. Sometimes, there were direct responses to whatever Google did. Other times, they were already in the pipeline but needed an extra swift kick in order to go live.

Since Google+ arrived, Facebook launched significant improvements to Facebook Chat: video calling powered by Skype, group chat, and an option to see the friends you message most. The company rolled out a major revamp to its privacy settings, affecting what you see on your profile as well as when you share content on the social network. It launched Subscriptions, letting you subscribe to Facebook users who you aren't friends with and letting you offer your own public updates to Facebook users who aren't your friends.

Facebook also killed a bunch of its own features. It axed the App Directory without much fanfare. Facebook Deals went the way of the dodo bird. Even Facebook Places no longer exists, although plenty of new location features were added to the service.

Don't even get me started on the number of tweaks and updates Facebook has been testing recently. It's really quite difficult to keep up with all of them, which hasn't really been much of a problem before.

The best is still to come though. You see, Facebook's f8 developer conference is this Thursday. Rumors and speculation include a music service as well as TV and movie partnerships.

The war between Facebook and Google is going to get even fiercer this month. In fact, I expect we'll see a lot more in the next quarter than we are seeing in the current one. If you don't believe me now, you will soon: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Google

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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30 comments
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  • facebook killer

    No SANE person suggested that Google+ would EVER kill Fcebook. Not ever, let alone overnight.<br><br>Only iditos said that. The same idiots who always talk about a new product being a "killer" even though in the history of human commerce, no new product has EVER killed an existing market leader.

    Also..you really are just plain ignorant. Facebook's partnership with Skype has NOTHING to do with Google+. It was announced literally the DAY AFTER that Google began their video conferencing on Google+. So..ou are suggesting that Facebook saw Google's, and quickly rushed their own integration in less than 24 hours? Yeah...right. It couldn't POSSIBLY had had anything to do with Microsoft (a Facebook partner and part owner) buying Skype weeks earlier, could it?

    As for the battle getting fiercer..there is no battle. Google+ is dead. It died 2 months ago. No one uses it anymore.
    jkfan87
    • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

      @jkfan87 >> no new product has EVER killed an existing market leader.<br><br>Updating my comment as I don't think betamax was a market "leader" per say. However, MySpace was a market leader until Facebook came along.
      augmented
    • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

      @jkfan87 is google+ still around? when are going to kill it, its just worthless....giving fany names to boring stuff hardly makes it coller than myspace
      abhi.jamwal
    • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

      MS-Word killed WordPerfect.
      zdjunk@...
      • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

        @zdjunk@... M$ killed a lot of things, including Netscape. But never by being better. They did it either by being underhand (eg Netscape) or by throwing money at it (eg M$ Word).

        M$ NEVER killed ANYTHING by being better.
        Heenan73
      • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

        @zdjunk@...

        You can still buy Word Perfect. The latest version is $99.99 for the home or student version.

        And, Microsoft didn't kill Word Perfect, Novell did.
        YetAnotherBob
  • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

    Well, I agree with you. Better competition = better products but seems like Google is moving very slowly with Google+ while Facebook is making rapid changes
    shellcodes_coder
    • other focuses

      @shellcodes_coder

      I think google might be a little too worried about lawsuits and Android and Chrome to be very worried about G+...
      shryko
  • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

    Agree - competition really helps keep tech moving.
    CobraA1
  • Please Kill the pro-Facebook Trolls

    These pro-Facebook trolls appear everywhere, insulting people and acting like they know something. Emil Protalinski is not an idiot. He is courageous for giving voice to smaller companies. Plus, it's simply not historically true that new companies or products have not killed or mortally wounded market leaders. Facebook is an emperor with no clothes. Keep up the good work Emil. We get enough spin from the "market leaders."
    cindy29
    • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

      @cindy29

      true, Facebook basically mortally wounded the previous market leaders (Myspace, anyone?), but all the same, "smaller companies" describing facebook? That's a bit of a stretch. Facebook is a massive company, and we're witnessing two titans duke it out (facebook and google).
      shryko
  • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

    I really hope they will have the feature to unable to comment and +1 as a setting for your profile 'cause maybe some wouldn't like any response to their posts like me. I also noticed that some have sTiCky kEyS Names and others don't even use their real or complete name.
    Teruthefourthkira4
  • I agree

    Just like Bing is the best thing that ever happen to Google. The search team had been sleeping for some time... then plenty of new features started to emerge. Just like the disappearance of Netscape was the worst thing that could happen to IE. MS stopped developing IE thinking they had achieved the ???ultimate browser??? with 94 percent of the market at one point. Now they are doing catch up and IE specs can???t match Chrome or FF.
    gbouchard99@...
  • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

    Great article,I just got a $ 829.99 iP??d2 for only $ 103.37 and my mom got a $ 1498.99 HDTV for only $ 251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an id!ot to ever pay full ret??il pr??c??s at plac??s like W??lm??rt or B??stbuy. I sold a 37" HDTV to my boss for $ 600 that I only paid $ 78.24 for. I use http://goo.gl/6mwfR
    terrymccoy354
  • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

    There is no coming battle. Google+ is already drying up and headed to the grave.
    jhammackHTH
    • won't go down without a fight

      @jhammackHTH Google and Facebook are duking it out on multiple fields... Google+ doesn't need to be the "victor" for facebook to "lose". As well, google+ will "die" when it's no longer supported... google can support it for a long time yet.
      shryko
  • Google+ is slowing loosing the pace

    As a user (typical ??) I do have few gripes :

    1) I still use Facebook because most of my friends are still in Facebook only. What killed the initial enthusiasm is slower grant of friend invitation (I got the invitation after few days of initial access)

    2) Google+ "was" boring at that time.

    3) Google+ is slow to make new changes
    thandermax
    • IMHO

      The biggest mistake was slower friend invitation .. Many of my friends lost the interest when they were denied couple of times
      thandermax
  • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

    When Facebook got popular, MySpace tried to copy Facebook, and look where MySpace is today. Now that Facebook is copying Google+, perhaps it will meet a similar fate. Those that lead keep leading, those that follow go away, eventually.
    justthisguyyouknow
    • RE: Google+ is the best thing that ever happened to Facebook

      @justthisguyyouknow you do realize that Google+ basically copied Facebook right? I mean, beside the snazzy interface it accomplishes the same thing. MySpace's downfall had less to do with Facebook and more to do with bad decisions from its leadership and being bought by Fox that really didn't have a clue.
      dfjjb