Right, I had already written this out, but between the iPad and the bloody wireless, it wasn’t saved. Here we go again…
This whole hype about Google v Facebook began last May when Google announced that they were moving into the social networking scene. Up until this point Facebook had about 70% of the social network scene, with StumbleUpon way down in second with 17%. Google had been slowly gathering momentum, buying new companies (including Youtube and Android), releasing new features (documents, videos, photo sharing) … Branching into social networking seemed like the logical next step to monopolising our internet use.
Perhaps Facebook had been getting lazy or complacent before this, but the announcement of Google+ sparked Mark Zuckerberg to start working on “something really big“. Since then we’ve seen the roll-out of Skype-backed video chat, subscriptions, and the controversial Timeline. Now there are rumours of the company moving into the cellular device and OS market (talk about treading on Apple’s toes!). I’ll need to find more conclusive references for that, but I wouldn’t dismiss it as insubstantial. There’s a cyberwar a-brewing out there, and I’ll bet my bottom dollar that Facebook will be a major competitor.
But I digress. Getting back to the topic, we see that there’s already a big scene set up. Google has the lead, the inital followers, and a lot of money behind it. Facebook seems to be backed into the corner (the social network corner) but has the whole teenage market behind it to take its lion’s-share of the internet. Funnily enough, Facebook soon stopped any Google apps on its site shortly after the announcement of Google+.
I won’t go into the pros and cons of each site. There are hundreds of articles like that online that list features. Here’s one that’s relatively unbiased (but slightly outdated). Here’s a more up to date one.
There are plenty of differences between the two, so all we can do is sit back and see who hits the niches best. Who wins? You decide.