Internet expert on Google+: "Facebook is toast."

Internet expert on Google+: "Facebook is toast."

Summary: It's one thing when new-tech fan-boys squeal with delight over Google's new social network, but when a grandmaster of communication technology says it's a game changer, you should listen.


It's no secret. I like Google+ a lot. Lot of people love Google's new social network. But, I think it noteworthy when someone like Steve Kille, a former Senior Research Fellow at University College London and one of Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)'s authors writes, "Google+ is very impressive. I reckon Facebook is toast."

Kille, CEO of Isode, a high-performance messaging and directory server software company, has been helping design the Internet's communication infrastructure from its very early days. He knows what he's talking about.

In his blog for Ferris Research, a leading e-mail and Internet communications research firm, Kille explained that he saw Google+ eventually killing off Facebook for numerous reasons.

These reasons included: Google Plus' "integration with other Google services [which] will be a key strategic advantage, that Facebook will not be able to match."

He makes a good point. Google already has, for example, a sophisticated e-mail system, Gmail, and a Voice and Video over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Google Chat. Facebook, on the other hand, is discovering that integrating Skype for VoIP into Facebook is easier said than done. Just today, August 1st, a major Skype/Facebook security hole has been reported.

Kille also praised "The Circles approach to privacy control" because it "puts control of sharing with the sender in a clean and easy to manage way. Widely aired privacy concerns with Facebook will help fuel the already spectacular growth of the invitation only G+ service."

That's another telling point. Many people have been voicing concern about Google+ user security.. Certainly you should be wary of your security on any social network, but keep in mind that Facebook's security and privacy settings are an ever-changing maze. Heck, here at ZDNet's we've been publishing new editions of the multi-part The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide in no small part because even we, people who make their living from riding technology's cutting edge, have trouble keeping track of what's what with Facebook's settings.

He also thinks, as do I, that Google+'s "asymmetric model (like Twitter) will usually work better. It removes the need for 'hand shaking' on setup, and subsequent issues of de-friending." With Google+, you don't have all the friend/de-friending drama or the eternal Facebook question, "Where do I know this guy from?" You can follow someone new who follows you or not with no pressure.

Kille also thinks that "Photo integration is increasingly important and already better than Facebook. Convergence with Picasa [Google's Web-based photo album] is likely to help G+ to extend its lead."

When I first started using Google+, I didn't see this one myself. Since then, though, I've found myself being followed by more and more photographers who are using Google+ and Picasa to share their work. I suspect that it's because photographers are growing concerned about the long-term fate of Yahoo's Flickr and so they're looking to move to other services such as 500px or the combination of Google+ and Picasa.

Put it all together, and Kille concludes that while "Facebook has a lot of users and enormous network effect strengths. All the same, I don't think this will save it from going the way of MySpace." I can't disagree.

Related Stories:

Five Things to love about Google+

Three signs Google+ is here to stay (And two that it's doomed)

Google revises Google+ real name management policy

What was Google thinking!?

Google+: An infographic to ease your privacy-concerned mind

Topics: Browser, Apps, Google, Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

    I've had Google+ for a couple weeks, it has no Facebook-killing feature. What am I missing?
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @ccrockett@... You don't have to add complete strangers as a "friend" just because you find their posts to be interesting. Facebook is great for simple communication between friends and family, but Google+ takes this a step further by also allowing you to keep up on others whom you would like to "follow" who may not reciprocate.

      Add to the fact that you can also add people to your circle(s) who aren't even in Google+, it eliminates that barrier of (but so-and-so isn't a member of [x social network])... with Google+, you don't need to concern yourself whether or not someone uses Google+... you can still communicate with them via Google+.
      • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

        @BIGELLOW - "but Google+ takes this a step further by also allowing you to keep up on others whom you would like to "follow" who may not reciprocate."<br><br>That's just sad then, and by the way there's a word for that behaviour, and its called "stalking"
      • Stalking?

        This is in response to @midan2, whose post has no Reply to option. If following (i.e. consuming the content of) people who don't necessarily follow you is "stalking," then Twitter is merely a giant stalking-enabler. But that notion is as absurd as thinking that a blogger is "stalked" because s/he hasn't approved each reader of his/her posts. You blog, and you tweet, knowing that it is a social act. Facebook, at the other extreme, restricts you to communicating only with people who are reciprocally related. Google+ combines the best of both: I can choose to communicate only with those who also "follow" me (if I define such a circle); I can choose to communicate with the public ala Twitter; and I can choose anything in between.
        And all of this goes for the people I "follow" as well. I can't see *everything* that, for example, Bill Gross posts on +, but only what he decides to make public. (= to tweet.) Obviously there is a lot of other communication from Bill that goes only to specific Circles, and I have no means of "stalking" that activity.
    • It only takes a pair of fat lips to become an &quot;expert&quot;

      on just about everything nowadays after all.
    • I agree

      @ccrockett@... there's no chance of this displacing Facebook. None. Zero. Nada.

      Google Plus has Huddles - which is great if you don't want to pay for Skype conferencing. But there's no hope of that being the Facebook displacing killer app.

      Will not happen. No chance.
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @ccrockett@... First an foremost the facebook-killing feature number one is that it is not the face book. Its not a shitville ridden cesspool of vanity. Zukerberg is not CEO.
      Tommy S.
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @ccrockett@... The blogger (can't really call them writers these days I guess) wears Google & *nix knee pads. Time will tell. Google tends walk on their own d*** at times.
  • Message has been deleted.

    William Farrell
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @William Farrell What's an experst?
      • I know, it should be experts, but the darn site

        doesn't let you fix a mistake without having it "the post is identified as spam" in red. You have to wait a bit.

        Was a time these sites worked, but not anymore.
        William Farrell
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @William Farrell <br><br>Not to mention:<br><br>How many "experts" have claimed the death of the PC due to iPads?<br><br>How many "experts" have claimed the death of Windows due to ChromeOS, iOS, and Android?<br><br>How many experts have claimed the death of... blah, blah, blah.<br><br>Facebook isn't going anywhere.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @William Farrell Buzz and Google Apps never had 1% of the growth of Google+. Myspace didn't disappear so Facebook won't disappear either. However, if you don't think Facebook is feeling the heat right now, you are kidding yourself. You should go to Facebook's HQ and look for yourself, those guys have fire under their ass.
      • Shrug

        @zelrikriando May or may not be true. What is also reported, however, is that Google Plus has already stalled, and it isn't even out of invite-only mode. That's a pretty remarkably Google-Wave-like pattern.
    • IDNK

      @William Farrell I do not know. But I think SJVN covered all of these topics gleefully.
      Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @William Farrell
      "How many experts claimed that Sharepoint was toast, because of Google?"
      0? (I have to confess I've never used Sharepoint)

      "How many experts claimed that Facebook was toast, because of Buzz?"
      None that I can remember. Buzz was panned from the start and died a swift death.

      "How many experts claimed that Office was toast, because of Google Apps?"
      None, though some thought Microsoft would move more to the cloud.
      "How many experts claimed that [software]was toast, because of Google [software]."
      Not sure. I do remember Google was widely thought to have overpaid for YouTube. How'd that work?

      "And now another "expert" claims FaceBook is toast."
      I think FaceBook is too entrenched for a quick death, and Google+ advantages are not relevant for the casual user. Plus Facebook has the cash to add whatever features necessary to keep up. However, I'm no expert so my opinion doesn't matter in the "what do experts think" contest
  • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

    What does it matter honestly? I have never used FB or G+ but don't they do the same damn thing? One is established and the other is well on its way to being established. At this point wouldn't it all be about user preference?
    • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

      @Bates_ No, they don't do the same thing. I mean, looking at it from the 20,000 foot view... sure... they're both communication tools. However, Google+ and Facebook are about as much alike as Twitter and Email are alike.
      • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'


        Got some shares? Google+ and Facebook are just big bulletin boards with a few OCD games added on.

        The only thing wrong with attracting all the geeks and nerds is that most don't have enough friends to make it useful ;-)
  • RE: Internet expert on Google : 'Facebook is toast.'

    Yet another SVJN junk