After Google announced the launch of their new social network, Google+ in June 2011, Facebook was uncharacteristically quiet.
Then following the Google+ launch, the search engine Bing (which happens to be a partner of Facebook) bought Skype, an internationally popular piece of internet video and telephone software. Following the announcement from Google about their new Hangouts feature to accompany Google+, it doesn’t take a marketing genius to see that Bing and Facebook were keen to not miss out on any established users defecting to Google+ in the early days.
Facebook and Google have long been rivals, with each criticising the other over many points. Facebook have blocked Google from seeing their users’ public profiles and Google have attacked Facebook for their loose privacy settings.
In response to these criticisms, Facebook has launched a string of new features (including privacy features) that just happen to coincide with Google+ opening up their network to the public. Google+ is incredibly feature-rich even at this early stage, however, at Real Web SEO, we do wonder if Google can really can tempt established Facebookers away from the social network who may have invested a lot of time and energy in to uploading photos, connecting with friends and playing games. Google+ may already have millions of users, but last month, it emerged that 83% of their audience is inactive. Hardly a surprise as the initial audience was web and internet marketing types who wanted to have a look around but found it boring without the majority of their friends signed up to flesh out the service.
So what is Facebook now offering?
If you have a Facebook account, you will see that your homepage has changed. You still have your friend’s recent stories in their normal place, but to the right of the screen, you can see a feed which contains information like comments on their friends’ statuses etc. Privacy settings have also been enhanced meaning you have more control over the posts you are tagged in by your friends.
Coupled with these changes, earlier on this week Twitter announced today that they would be sharing data with Facebook more easily e.g. no apps or programs to link the two so Twitter statuses are automatically posted to Facebook. There is a possibility that this could pave the way so you could give Facebook your twitter login and essentially have a double account. Many people have speculated that this is Facebook and Twitter uniting against Google+. We think this is a small step but if Facebook is determined to use their muscle to consign Google+ into the social network dustbin along with Google Buzz, they may have to work with Twitter more in the future. Would this really be of much use to users though?
Facebook’s biggest announcement was at the F8 conference yesterday which showed an entirely new layout to each user’s feed – see this report for more details.
Do you think the rivalry between Facebook and Google is getting ugly? Do you think that only one will be victorious in the fight for market share within social media, or do you think that they will learn to co-exist? Tell us using the comments box below!
To find out how Real Web SEO can help improve your presence in the search engines, contact David Wiltshire on 0845 544 1764.