While it’s definitely true that Google+ is gaining momentum it still isn’t established and Facebook has a real simple solution to end the competition. See this is a market where there is a single dominant player. There wasn’t room for MySpace and Friendster and Facebook so two were killed off. It’s just reality – we don’t want to lose time going site to site to be social one by one. We want it all in one place. And Twitter holds a sub market – sharing short messages with the world, often anonymously. It’s a different social experience that lets Twitter and Facebook co-exist. But Facebook and Google+ are direct competitors so there can be only one survivor.
There’s only one reason that anyone gives me for using G+ and that’s the concept of Circles. The ability to share with as many or few as you choose and not just share with all. What some of you know is that Facebook already has this ability – it’s called Lists. If you go to your friends then on the top right you’ll see ‘manage my lists’ and you can make ‘circles’ within Facebook. But wait, if it’s there then why hasn’t it caught on and why does no one use it? Well it’s hidden and the user interface is clunky at best to get to it. So it’s really an issue with form and not function. And Facebook knows this. This is why a few Facebook software developers created CircleHack.com which provides a Google+ type interface to interact with Facebook lists and effectively bridges that gap. So we know that the software engineers at Facebook are aware of Circles and why they are relevant and most of you already know that Zuckerberg is the most followed Google+ member. He’s not a member because he is giving up on Facebook obviously. He’s using it to see what works best, what doesn’t work and obviously bring the best to Facebook. So the CEO and software engineers know why Circles work and we all know that Circles are G+’s draw so follow the bouncing ball. Facebook will revamp the user interface to interact with ‘lists’ which they’ll likely rebrand as well to make it something with a more catchy name and of course they’ll be able to grab headlines for a few days with this. Since Facebook already dominates this market once they turn this switch on there’s very little reason for anyone to use Google+. There just aren’t enough users currently and to convince people to switch just to be hip isn’t going to cut it.
How far away is this? No idea but I presume that Facebook would be pretty close on this one and would likely want to ensure that what they release is polished and not a beta and they’ll likely want to hit the market with updates to their mobile apps at the same time to ensure an effective blow.
Speculation? Yes. But it also seems pretty obvious at the same time. So enjoy the media attention G+ because your fifteen minutes is counting. Then we put you in that other list of Google’s not so life changing attempts.