In one corner, long-standing champion Facebook (B), standing at 700 million users (and skyrocketing higher), faces the search behemoth Google (A) and its star lightweight contender Google+ in the opposing corner with a mere 40 million users. Is it an unfair fight, an equal fight––will there be a fight at all? Recent news from Google suggests that there’s a thriller brewing in “the zip codes that border 94306.”
Round one brings Boy Genius Report coverage of Google’s efforts to recruit college students at a university in Israel to sign up on the spot for a Google+ account. College students are an obvious group of techno-savvy early adopters, but let’s wait for news of other college-aimed punches coming from the Google corner before declaring the winner of this round.
Mr. Zuckerberg said recently that Google was “building its own little Facebook,” which stirred a countering blow by Google’s VP of Product, Bradley Horowitz, who stated that Google was “delighted to be underestimated.” According to Horowitz, Google is continuing to incorporate the Google+ product into the other Google services that users have come to depend on.
Monday’s launch of Google+ Pages opens the social network up to brands, companies, and non-human entities. Google+ Pages now allows brands to connect their “+1” ratings across Google and to interact with individuals though their business pages. Google+ Direct Connection is a huge leap forward and will let users add the “+” sign in front of a Google search and automatically add the matching Google+ Page to their followers. Direction Connection should be likened to the old AOL Keywords, but as adoption of Google+ increases, it is the easiest way for a user to follow a company––far simpler than finding a brand on Facebook or Twitter.
Who will win the battle of the social titans? Front-runner Facebook seems to be dominating purely by the numbers, but until the Launch of Google+ and its concept of circles, the ability to limit sharing of content to a select group was clunky at best in Facebook. Either way, the competitive power of Google+ will force innovation and change on both platforms.
Check out Utterly Orange’s new Google+ Page. Add Vanguard Direct to your circles.
Author: John Carew