The hot debate in the social media sphere is the emergence of Google’s new-ish social platform, Google Plus. Can its estimated 40 million users topple the 900 million members of Internet Goliath Facebook?
Integrating Search with Social Media
If you’re using Google Plus, then chances are your search results incorporate the results of the interests of those in your circle. And companies, beholden already to Google for its algorithm and who spend millions (if not billions) of dollars every year tailoring their websites so that they’re search engine friendly, know that. With Google (naturally) favoring its own social network over Facebook – which builds presence the old fashioned (old fashioned?) way via links, it may only be a matter of time before everyone who uses Google also uses Google Plus.
Can 900 Million Users Ever Be Wrong?
On the other hand, how many social media websites does one need to join? The answer is probably not more than one. Yes, everyone hates Facebook’s constantly shifting privacy settings. And no, constantly changing the news feed isn’t all that smart. Yet – people keep joining, don’t they? It is, without question, the social media network to which all other social media networks are compared.
In addition, everyone knows how to use it. It’s intuitive, makes photo and link sharing easy and everyone gets the concept of “friending” (or “defriending”). Google Plus can’t claim the same – circles? What circles?
The IPO of the Year
Let’s not forget that Facebook – as of early May 2012 – is the Wall Street investment banking community’s flavor of the year. The deal is hugely oversubscribed and estimated to raise an astonishing $15 billion dollars. One can only imagine what the company, already the undisputed behemoth of social media, will do with that amount of money. Google, by comparison, raised a mere $2 billion in its market debut in 2004 – although when Google premiered it was (and remains) the king of search, a free service that everyone used then and everyone still uses now –whether or not Facebook is still the king of social media in 8 years’ time remains to be seen.
Building a Web Presence
Nevertheless, savvy businesses join both Google Plus and Facebook (plus Twitter and Pinterest). Apparel retailers, drug rehab facilities, auto parts discounters, home services providers – every business needs a web presence. And with Google page rank chief in the minds of Internet marketers across the world, it isn’t likely that they’ll flout what Google clearly wants, which is to compete against Facebook for social media domination. And as ironic as it is to compare Google to David, whether or not it will slay Goliath is a spectacle sure to delight even the most jaded technocrat.