I have always been wondering when the demise of Facebook would start just like how MySpace quickly came and went along with other social networking sites like Bebo and Friendster. The old saying, “Nothing lasts forever” couldn’t be more true in the Internet world. In fact, you could easily change that to, “Nothing lasts 4 years.” Experts have already predicted that Facebook has already reached its peak and in time, members will slowly dwindle away. So what causes this? Well, a number of things could contribute to a website losing popularity. They could reach the pinnacle of their innovation, people can lose interest as they get older, younger people might find other things to do or maybe there are too many spammers and ads.
Whatever the case may be, we can guarantee that corporate America will always be there to ride the money-train as long as there are tracks to roll on. Enter Google Inc.
The latest competition to Facebook is by none other than Google. Of course like every other beta service they launch, it’s by invitation only and they are currently “at capacity”, but you can check out the Google+ Tour on their site. I won’t go over everything here, but I do want to touch on 3 of Google+’s features.
Circles is a way in which you can group your contacts into various categories. As an example, you can have your school friends, your drinking friends, your co-workers and your family members all in different circles. This is a neat feature that allows you to share specific information only with certain people.
On Facebook, if you write something on your wall, everyone gets to see it and we all know what kind of trouble that can cause!
Google describes circles as:
You share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life.
Sparks allows you to tell Google about the things you’re interested in and as you would have guessed, they will bring you the latest search results and news updates related to these items. I like Google’s explanation much better:
Remember when your Grandpa used to cut articles out of the paper and send them to you? That was nice. That’s kind of what Sparks does: looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share. Grandpa would approve.
Bumping into friends while you’re out and about is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let buddies know you’re hanging out and see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing.
My two cents
If there ever was a worth challenger to Facebook, I would imagine Google would be it. Google has just about every other service under the sun so it only seems fitting that they add a social networking site to the mix. After looking at what Google+ promises to offer, I think the experience will be far better than that of Facebook, but I also think Google will have a lot of catch up to do. As far as customers dropping off of Facebook in exchange for Google+—I don’t think that will happen. Personally, I’ll have a Google+ account and we’ll see how things go.
As for right now, I placed my name on the waiting list to be invited into the exclusive club. We’ll see what happens.