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Two things missing that Google Plus needs are…

…Events and Fan Pages.

Events are the one thing that keeps my Facebook account inactive active. Most of the time, if I want to not be forgotten about when it comes to been invited to an event, I need to be on Facebook. If I’m not, a lot of the time I will be forgotten about because I wasn’t on their friends list*. Event management in Facebook is probably one of the few things that Facebook has really nailed, and is the reason many people made accounts in the first place. Google desperately needs an event system that is at least on par with that of Facebook, and has really tight Google Calendar integration (and with over half a million Android phones been activated every day, Google Calendar may start to be used by those who have never thought of using it before if it’s convenient.)

Fan pages. This is almost the one thing that keeps MySpace in existence, and Facebook loves. Businesses, bands, and common interest groups can have their own page, public or private, and everyone loves it. Bands love the exposure it brings, and people love free stuff (in the case of bands, a few songs streaming.) This is something I have heard that Google is going to implement soon (beats me why they don’t have it from the start,) but I can’t find any source to back that up.

* Granted, if they’re only inviting me because I’m on their friends list, it’s probably not something I’m likely to go to. The things that I’m likely to go to are ones where, if I wasn’t on Facebook, the organised would go out of his or her way to let me know via email, though it does make it difficult, so I don’t really want to do that to people.


Edit (11th July, 2011): I meant keeps my Facebook account active, not inactive. Whoops.

Will Google Plus take down Facebook? Probably not.

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.