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

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?

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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.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Collaboration, Google

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17 comments
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  • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

    Exactly what they said about MySpace when Facebook came out.

    Which is exactly what they said about Friendster when MySpace came out.

    Social is a fad, and people follow fads. It is what it is.
    Droid101
    • "Social is a fad." Bingo!

      @Droid101
      Yes, Facebook is 5 years old now, so the shine is wearing off. Time to jump over to the new, shiny fad. And in another 5 years, when Google+ is in its geriatric stage, the next fad will pop up. As you put it so well--it is what it is.
      Userama
      • By 2013, Facebook will be where MySpace is today

        @Userama A fad without followers.
        wackoae
    • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

      @Droid101 Minus some super scandal I vote for concurrent.. One tool might become a lot more popular and seriously hurt on the other but not nearly enough to kill the other tool. Social media is 5 years old and still growing by leaps and bounds no fad (unfortunately in my minority view). MySpace was for teens, they outgrew it. People in their teens don't want anything to do what they were doing two years ago when they were "immature". Facebook has morphed into an adult tool. Many adults won't want to spend time undoing the redoing all the work they put into getting valuable connections. But they also won't want to been seen as old fuddy duddies and will go to Google+ for that reason.
      edkollin
    • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

      @Droid101 Except Google+ is not a fad. It is a failure.
      jkfan87
  • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

    Three months? Google+ has been live less than three _weeks_.
    Joshua Talley
  • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

    Honestly, there's a company that's taking social networking to the next level. With no requirement of REAL NAMES, EMAIL ADDRESS, ETC--It's covering all the ground for privacy that facebook and Google+ can't. Google itself already stores enough of your information already--things people don't realize. OnlyMeWorld is a new site that at this current time has just a preview of what it's going to be in the coming weeks, months, year. A site that actually gives BACK to it's users allowing them to make money off the ads posted on their sites. If you go on facebook there's ads all over your page on the top, bottom, sides--and you wonder where facebook makes all their money. It's really nice knowing that there's a company out there that actually cares more about their members as well. To me, that's already a classification of a good business. They got my vote.
    erichuhai
    • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

      @erichuhai

      Sounds like OnlyMeWorld is a great company with a great product. I sincerely hope that they manage to acquire enough customers to make a go of it. What's their policy on user data ownership? I suspect it is MUCH better than that of either Facebook or Google+.

      Sadly, the best products do not always win. Even more sadly, many users of Facebook and Google+ really don't care a wit about their privacy. And, based on past performance, Google and one's privacy are pretty much orthogonal.

      @Zack Whittaker

      Google+'s biggest problem will be the inertia of current Facebook users. Most are non-techies and are uncaring wrt privacy. Google+ may well end up being the social network for, primarily, techies. Another is Facebook's user data policy. Will they, ultimately, allow their users to export their personal data?

      Cheers
      Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

      @erichuhai Anyone can set up a page on Facebook that doesn't reveal your name and email UNLESS you want it to do that. And anyone can make money from Facebook with their own ads. Not sure where anyone is getting their info about Facebook but it ISN'T from Facebook-why not give FB a try before spreading FUD? Oh, right. That means actually trying out FB or doing a little research first, and God forbid that people would actually have to think before speaking. And the whole privacy thing is overblown- you can set your own permissions and if someone sets everything on their page to "public", well, then everything IS public and searchable from the web. That's a rather stupid way to go, IMHO. Now if you set your FB name only to be public then you can be found on FB by a web search but ONLY your name can be seen. Some people claim that FB must be running scared from Google + because FB blocked the exporting of all of your FB content to Google + but the fact is that Google blocked FB first. If OnlyMeWorld lives up to its billing I'd look into it but frankly, Google already has more information on me than, I suspect, the government and I would no more give Google even more info about me than I would betray people in my Friends list by exporting THEIR information to any other site. I DON'T OWN my Friends information so to share it without their knowledge is akin to identity theft. I keep my page 'private' and I can't be found on FB through any web search, which is just the way I like it.
      xplorer1959
      • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

        @xplorer1959 Actually, I tried it. For two years. After the first year and a half of having to find out here, on ZDnet, that FB hand changed policies/apps/access or whatever and having to then go to FB to RESET my privacy, I quit. Even THAT was a chore. I had to search the net (Google search, BTW) to find out how to delete my account vs FB's method of, basically, giving it a vacation while they still utilized, and sold, my data. I then created a new account with everything on it a batch of lies. I searched for friends, sent them my email address and logged out. Now that I've got all the contacts I wanted, I cancelled that account. Anyone I want to talk to is in my email address book.<br><br>I don't plan to use Google plus either. Call me "an old fuddie duddie" if you want but I still think a phone should be a phone, not a computer and/or tracking device and privacy is still a desired commodity by many. As such, my phone will not be a "smart phone" and "social networking" is totally unnecessary. I've already closed one wireless phone account because they stopped offering talk-only phones and demanded I pay a "data" fee just because my phone "could" use the internet even if I never did. When they all start doing that, I'll go back to landline only and if you don't catch me at home, "leave a message after the beep".
        xffcapt01
  • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

    That's why I don't bother with social networking. Beeen online since the mid 90's. Still rockin strong. nothings changed.
    Brian J. 1975
  • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

    Google has the power to throw Facebook and take the crown. Now they need to integrate all their services into Google+. Def. pages and applications are coming but I careless. I just want my friends and family members to join Google+ so that I can dump facebook. Go Google gooo
    shellcodes_coder
  • Google has WORST privacy than Facebook

    There is no "private" mode in Google+.

    And FYI, I'm NOT a fan of Facebook.
    wackoae
    • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

      @wackoae Not really... You select every bit you want to share. And you can make yourself not searchable.
      snoop0x7b
  • WTF is with the analogies?

    Seriously? You are comparing Facebook to organizations with such scandalous backgrounds?
    Your Non Advocate
  • If Google supports OpenSocial, they get my vote

    Blocking export of my friend list? Preventing me from using my data? Right. Bye-bye, Facebook.
    daboochmeister
  • RE: Over 10 million Google users: Enough to tempt Facebook defectors?

    I tried Facebook a number of times and always came away frustrated by their approach, both to privacy and to UI. I'll try G+ and see how it goes. If it doesn't work, I won't lose any sleep.
    Trep Ford