Google+ Can't Win Against Facebook

Facebook now has subscriptions so you can filter on a person-by-person basis what you see from your friends and acquaintances. Google Maps has added +snippets so you can share mapping data with other Google+ users. Two social media networks have entered the arena ... WHO WILL PREVAIL?

Well, the answer is Twitter, of course. Duh. You've got your lame hashtag jokes, excitable Missoni-related tweets, and random bouts of pants-filling terror all in one place. What's not to love?

But back to our newest contender, Google+. When it was originally launched, it was touted as the Facebook killer to end all Facebook killers. So what happened? Where's that mass exodus from Facebook everyone was predicting/hoping for?


Google+ started out strong, with a ton of hype and eagerness to take a look at what the propellerheads from Mountain View had come up with. But after a couple weeks of "Oooh, shiny!" from new Google+ users, people seemed to lose interest.

I can't speak for the market base at large, but I know why *I* stopped being excited about my new social network with all its fancy circles and streams and application integration: No one was using it.

My stream quickly went from a firehose to a trickle, and with no one sharing much of anything these days, I have no motivation to post my own updates. I figure if I wanted to talk into an empty void, I can do that anytime by telling my kids to stop jumping on the damn couch. ("Hello? Hello? DO YOU HEAR THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?")

I was hoping Google+ would take off, because I find the interface much more pleasing than Facebook, and I like the features. (I especially love that you can edit your typos.) But the reality is, I knew it would never replace Facebook. The entire reason I use Facebook is to stay in touch with family members, and I can tell you this right here and now: It was hard enough to get them using one social network. They are never, ever, EVER going to switch.

So if I use Twitter all day long for short, chatty conversations, and I use Facebook for family stuff, and I have a blog and a photo-sharing account, what the hell else do I have to say on Google+? Not much, as it turns out. Especially if there's not much of a conversation to join.

It's still early days for Google+, but I have a hard time seeing how they'll compete with Facebook's 750 million users. No matter how hard Google works to integrate their well-loved apps with their new social platform, I don't see them pulling into the lead. But perhaps we'll see these software giants decide to join forces at some point. After all, as a recent Wired article said:

Google has well-established media and needs users. Facebook has users, but needs new media beyond Zynga games to keep them. Slowly but surely, the platforms are moving to the same destination, but now they’re using slightly different resources to get there.

Integration instead of competition? Hey, stranger things have happened.

Are you using Google+? Do you use it instead of Facebook, or in addition to?

Image via Google

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