Google Takes on Facebook with its own Social Network
The tales which have the greatest impact, with hindsight, appear inevitable. This is no exception. First, Google got a new CEO - someone who, by all accounts was furious that the company had allowed itself to be caught napping by the surge in social networking and Facebook.
Then, it launched its own social graph counter and integrated its products into search and social sharing. Facebook which was facing its own issues with its users and the cavalier attitude with which it treated them also launched a broadside at its rival all the while shedding users in its home market.
It was clear that the much-rumoured social network which Google was building was just round the corner. This Tuesday it was soft-launched. Google +, still in Beta, brings the Google-style of empowering the end-user to do what they want, as they want it, into social networking and, inevitably, social media marketing.
Google+ is still an unknown animal, Google’s publicity however makes much of the fact that with their model all relationships are not equal. They give you the option of easily segregating personal, business and semi-professional relationships, all from one place, with drop-and-drag ease, exactly as you want it, when you want it.
Critics will say that this may not be enough. After all, troubles aside, Facebook has grown to almost 750 million users, by some accounts, and that is a size you cannot trifle with, and they will be right. Facebook, however, is opaque to the Google bot, rendering much of the user-generated activity within it meaningful only within Facebook’s ‘walled garden’ version of the web. Google indexes as much as it can and works through a clever algorithm to second guess the rest.Continued on the next page