Giants of social media in the world of today try and develop interactive places on the internet which prove to be places where people unite for causes, the world comes together and messages are conveyed from one large group to the other. They look towards the day when the paths of information providers and data-thirsty users cross in the room that they have put together and designed. The purpose was perhaps discovered after the social interaction website Orkut experienced the rush of the masses to the forum. These people had energy that needed channelizing, and bottled up feeling that needed to be expressed. Facebook realized this potential and soon the name Orkut was a distant memory. If the potential could be exploited any further there would have been no better contestant in the race than the pioneers of Internet development, Google. One can only imagine what secret weapon Google+ has to unleash which would set Facebook off balance, or would it at all be a shot attempted at the same dart-board.
As it has come to be, Facebook is the place where users almost live their alternate lives. According to the Wall Street Journal, as current statistics stand, users spend 405 minutes per visit to Facebook and no more than 3 minutes per visit to the competitor Google+. Where the numbers, one might think, tell the whole story, one cannot ignore the spread and reach of Google. Google has been the King Midas of this kingdom. It touched the search engine domain initially and turned it into gold. Bing, the search engine initiative by Microsoft hasn’t even proved worthy of showing up on Google’s radar as yet. Google then moved to pull the ground from underneath Yahoo! and Hotmail by coming up with its own center for receiving and sending of emails. It then proceeded to render completely useless Yahoo! and MSN Messenger by introducing Google talk. Its operating system developed for smartphones is rapidly covering ground and has been adopted as the OS by various cell-phone companies bringing it neck to neck with giants Apple. In that sense, Google was the arch-rival Facebook was meant to come up against sooner or later.
Seeing as in the past 3 years, the value of Facebook has become tenfold from being worth 197 million alone on the 31st of March 2009 to a staggering 901 million company on the same date this past year. After it went public recently, and even after talk that the stock value would fall, the company has seen a steady rise. Apart from its monetary value, it was common to hear how Facebook had influenced disaster management during the Earthquake in Haiti, where it proved a lifesaving tool for some, and as revolution organizing during the bringing to justice of the oppressor in Egypt, and now simply as the voice of the world in crying out over the injustice by masterminded by Israel. It is common to hear to Facebook had become an addiction for most users. It was the place where things “happen”, and this kind of value takes more than just gadgetry to outdo.
But along with its services, it’s too often that one finds users complaining about basic privacy issues that arise from time to time, not to mention the increasing obsoleteness Facebook induces in users. Facebook is now the refrigerator which was once packed with food when you opened it, but now it has nothing new going on every time you open it up. The key phenomenon being that all inputs in such website are supposed to come from users. Google+ looks to capitalize on that sag in the life of Facebook.
With an arsenal of Google docs, Youtube, Gmail, android apps, and Google Talk all recognizing you from the same username, Google+ looks to bring all that together to make the “hangouts” it boasts, more practical than the small bouts of pleasure and brief laughs than one seeks while surfing Facebook. Google is just starting to gain momentum having just spent 18 months in the market. So if there is a clash, if will not be short of historical. However, in their own words, they seek to take on an entirely different approach than the one Facebook has taken, so there might not a a clash and competition at all.