Google+ still lacks many things that are a core part of Facebook, omissions Google is sure to address soon. The ability to organize and invite people to events is one, a feature that drew many people into Facebook for the first time. Another is third party apps and games.
* with Google+ you can follow absolutely anyone you like, and they don´t have to approve it or follow you back. The result is a Twitter-like functionality, allowing you to see the updates from people that are interesting to you, such as celebrities, politicians, photographers, and so on. We can follow other people´s updates (well, at least the ones that they mark as “public”), even if they are not following ours.
Google+ is still missing quite a bit of Facebook´s magic. Google+ currently offers no platform for third party developers to create awesome games like Farmville, widgets, utilities, and the nearly unlimited features that we have come to love and expect from Facebook. Google+ does not have Facebook´s digital currency, known as Facebook Credits. Google+ does not have advertising. Google+ does not offer corporations, interest groups, and other entities the ability to create dedicated landing pages. Most importantly, Google+ only has on the order of hundreds of thousands of users, vs Facebook´s hundreds of millions!
In the coming year we will see Facebook copy many of Google+´s innovations, while Google+ will likely roll out every single one of the missing components just mentioned. One year from now, we will likely have two social networks that are similar in many ways, and if Google+ proves compelling enough it might even close the user gap significantly.
Google’s secret weapon is everything that is not Google+. A formidable armada of Google products including Gmail, Picasa, Calendar, Docs, Maps, Search, News, Youtube, Chrome Web Browser, Blogger, Translation, Android, and more stands at the ready to assist and join Google+ in the battle for the future of social networking. These products are best in class, extremely difficult to replicate, and are used by more than a billion people across the planet. As these products are seamlessly integrated with Google+, we are about to witness an incredible two way explosion of value and utility. Google´s products will gain all of the powerful attributes that social networks deliver – virality, discovery, crowdsourcing, sharing, “liking”, and so much more. Meanwhile, Google+ will be given a steroid boost of products that deliver content, tools, and capabilities to its hungry hordes of social minions.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.