Monday, July 11, 2011

What Does Facebook Think About Google+?

If you haven’t noticed, Google+ has been popping up all over the place. At first I was very confused about what this new Google+ was, but when I looked into it a little bit more, I was intrigued. I honestly don’t know exactly how well it will do, but Google was right to give it a try. The chief executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg said at the launch of Facebook’s video-calling partnership with Skype that he thinks Google’s social strategy is a validation of everything that he has been saying all along.

The Facebook video calls were launched Wednesday, June 6 at an event in Palo Alto, California at Facebook’s headquarters. Last week, Zuckerberg said that Facebook had “something awesome” planned, but unfortunately for Zuckerberg, sources close to Facebook leaked details about the Skype partnership to the Web site TechCrunch.

Facebook is definitely at the very top of the social networking ladder, but Google is hoping to maybe make a dent with their newly released social network Google+. Recently, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook has more than 750 million users. He said that the most important thing when it comes to the growth of a social network is the amount of information and data that can be shared. He added that each and every year the growth is increasing exponentially.

So how does Google’s Google+ Hangouts compare to Facebook’s new video chat feature? Well, it all just kind of depends on your personal preferences. Zuckerberg and Tony Bates, the chief executive of Skype, have been advertising the new video calling feature at Facebook as extremely easy to use. On the other hand, Google’s Hangouts seems rather complex. There are multiple messaging options and the ability to group chat with as many as 10 users.

Although it may be more complex, Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst for the Altimeter Group, seems to think that the options Google+’s Hangouts offers are a plus for users. "Google has an advantage because Hangouts is a lot more robust," she said.

"Now Skype is part of Microsoft, and we have an even more longstanding relationship with Microsoft," Zuckerberg said. "But I wouldn't undersell the importance of what we announced today. The vast majority of video chat is one-to-one chat, and this is going to be rolled out to everyone on the Web, and I think that is super awesome." Zuckerberg also commented on Google+ saying that it shows the constant evolution of social networking and how all of the companies scramble to keep up with one another.

"I'm not going to say a lot about Google+, as I've only spent a little bit of time on the service," Zuckerberg said. "But in terms of the narrative, as I was saying earlier, where the last five years have been about connecting people, and now that you have the social infrastructure in place a lot of the next five years will be about building these apps. You're going to see a lot of companies who haven't traditionally looked at social networking, not just companies like Google...but there's going to be a lot of apps, lot of companies out there, Netflix is a good example."

Zuckerberg continued saying that although Netflix has added a social aspect to the company, they didn’t really do it well. Companies are now looking to social networking sites to see how they can become a part of the social networking world. "I view a lot of this as validation as this is the way the next five years are going to play out," Zuckerberg added. "Every app is going to be social, and I think our job is to stay focused and to build the best value in the world, and if we don't do it, someone else will do it."

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