With the amount of hype surrounding Google Plus just a few days after it’s been launched, it is one of the most talked about things in the blogosphere. Every second comment seems to say Google Plus will do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace. MySpace is a bit of a joke these days, barely anyone uses it. Will this be what Facebook will become because of Plus? I hope so, but I doubt it will happen.
Just about everyone who has commented on Plus would have to be a geek/nerd, at least a little bit (due to the fact that all the comments are on gadget and technology blogs,) and it’s true: nerds love Google. I think that most of them really want Plus to succeed, and overthrow Facebook as the social networking king (myself included,) but I think that wants are having too much of an impact when it comes to predicting what is going to happen to Plus.
Remember Buzz? It was pretty much a complete failure for the wider audience (though I still use it with a few friends*,) but it was marketed as the next big thing. It was going to displace Facebook and Twitter because it was that good. That said, Buzz didn’t offer anywhere near the feature set of Facebook (though it did Twitter,) so it would seem that Plus has more of a chance, but I doubt it’ll catch on.
It’s a shame though, because Google haven’t made any friends recently. It’s taking on Apple and Microsoft with both Android (which actually is successful,) and Chrome OS (still reserving judgement on that one,) and now a direct assault on Facebook with Plus. People are spending more time on Facebook than they do on Google, and that’s got to hurt. The dynamic of the way people use the Internet has changed, and for Google to continue to be king of the web, they need to be successful at social networking.
I hope Google does succeed, but I’m not going to let my hope colour the reality: Facebook has already cemented itself as social king, and Google is just too late to the game.
* The people I use Buzz with are probably the only people in my friend group who will end up using Plus, and when Google kills Buzz (which they need to do, it’s counter productive to have 2 social networks,) we’ll just use Plus in the same way we use Buzz. Nothing will change that much.