Facebook has dominated the social networking scene for the past half decade or so. No doubt that it is a dinosaur in this field with all other social networking sites distant cousins at best. Can the launch of Google+ change this hierarchy and displace Facebook from its numero uno position? Let’s take a look at some facts.
Google+ launched in June 2011. Within 2 weeks of its launch, it had registered 10 million users. It took more than 2 years for Facebook to reach this number. Of course, one must take into account that social networking was a relatively new fad at the time of Facebook’s launch. Regardless, Google Plus’ numbers are still impressive. As of September 2012, the site has registered 400 million users- a truly astounding growth considering that it is still only over a year old. .
Ready to proclaim Google+ as the champion? Whoa! Hold your horses on that just yet! Industry pundits say that of the 400 million users, only 100 million are actually active on the site. The rest, they say, consist of people who have been automatically added because of G-mail accounts and the like. However, considering that Facebook in its first year had only about 2 million users, the 100-million figure is still pretty darned impressive!
Facebook currently boasts of a whopping 800 million to 1 billion users. Experts say time spent per visitor on each site is also higher for Facebook. Facebook lovers therefore say that Google’s offering can never overtake the social giant. But, one only need roll back the years and see the example of Myspace. At the time of Facebook’s launch, Myspace was the market leader and all and sundry said that they would never be overtaken. Look what’s happened since. Today Myspace ranks below 150 in total web traffic.
What Google+ has going for it ironically is Facebook’s new push towards requiring payment for news feeds, privacy issues, and the ridiculous changes they keep incorporating without warning every 3-4 weeks. Of course let’s also not forget that Google Plus’ big daddy is internet giant Google no less and that it has star siblings in the Android and YouTube platform. With such stellar family connections, this infant is bound to rise to great heights. Whether it can displace Facebook only time will tell, but the war between the two rivals is only good news for media marketers who now have one more platform to showcase their brand or on second thoughts, given the dilution of messaging that so many platforms cause, is it?
Let’s wait and watch! In the meanwhile who do you think will emerge as the winner? Let the voting begin!