Google+ and Facebook: competition and uncertainty

Social media marketing cannot be done properly in the absence of careful research. The anticipation of future trends can be critical. Adjustments to on-going campaigns often have to be made. If these adjustments go wrong, site performance will stall. The social media have become more interesting since the advent of Google+ and consultants will have to keep assessing the competition between Google+ and Facebook in particular.

At we do not rush to judgement when we examine important trends in the sphere of search. Instead, we scan the search world for relevant information with care. We also use the fruits of our own social media campaigns to gain insights into what is going on. We believe in sharing some basic elements of our knowledge to help novice site owners understand more about the fluid context in which we operate.

When it comes to Google+, it initially did well as it got a lot of publicity. However, at this stage it was an invitation only platform. This obviously restricted the number of users. Google carefully made around 90 alterations to it during a three month period according to Vic Gundrota, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google+, and stopped it being invitation only. The shift to get a larger audience was advertised via the Google search engine with the consequence that nearly 15 million individuals visited the Google+ site. This was a sharp spike in user attention.

Seeing as a mere 1.1 million users had visited the Google+ site one week before, according to statistics collated by Experian Hitwise, there were those in the industry who contended that it was a sign that Google+ could catch up with the mighty Facebook. The argument went that Google has a lot of assets and that these would help Google+ gradually gain ground on its rival. Such commentators were not deterred by the fact that Facebook has in excess of 800 million active users.

The truth is that Google+ has not got the brand recognition of Facebook. Nor has Facebook been idle since Google+ came onto the scene. Its deal with Skype and alterations in its privacy settings are just two major adjustments which Facebook has responded with. Nor should other players like Twitter be ignored. Google+ has a long way to go if it is to get close to Facebook’s position.

It should be remembered that over 350,000 Facebook users are accessing it via mobile devices. Given the importance of the mobile revolution, it will be interesting to see when and if Google+ can match that number.

There is thus a lot of uncertainty about what will happen as the various social media networking sites go head to head. Google has attempted to get into this area before, but this already seems to be a more concerted effort. Perhaps people will simply become more and more used to using different social networking sites instead of one favourite one. Whether or not this speculation has any merit, it is too soon to tell how Google+ will fare in its battle for market share. Campaigns will have to remain multifaceted for some time.

Leave a Comment