Google+, Day 30: Can Google+ Compete with Facebook?

So, what is my verdict on Google+? I like it. I like it more than I did when I embarked on the 30 Days With Google+ journey, and more than I thought I would. There are still some things I don't care for, and features I would like to see added or changed, but overall I am impressed with what Google has put together.

The challenge for Google+ is one of defining its value proposition. It is a great social network, and it has a lot to offer--but what it has to offer is already available for the most part from Facebook. Three quarters of a billion people have already set up camp on Facebook. They have invested time and effort in establishing connections and building their social networks. Google+ has to give a more compelling reason for 750 million people to switch than "come use our same tools and services because we’re not Facebook".

Google+ Circles
Circles are unique, but the Circles interface loses its novelty after a few minutes.
There are some unique aspects to Google that Facebook really can't compete with. Google has the benefit of the rest of the Googleverse and the ability to seamlessly integrate the Google+ social network into the Android mobile ecosystem, Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, YouTube, and more. For some, that alone will be compelling enough. For others, that may be reason to run in the other direction.

Personally, I don't see the value right now. I like Google+, but the vast majority of what it offers are just variations of what Facebook has already offered for years. Without some compelling reason that sets Google+ uniquely apart from Facebook, I would tell anyone who asks to stick with the established entity that has 750 million members and is synonymous with social networking.

What is interesting--and perhaps a tad concerning--is that there seems to be surprisingly little overlap between the two social networks--at least so far. I have a handful of people who are following me on Facebook and have me in their Circles on Google+, but for the most part these are two distinct audiences.

At this point, I am already invested and established on both, so I will continue to participate on both Facebook and Google+. Now that the gloves are off and they're really going head to head, things should get interesting.

Give it a spin and decide for yourself. It's free. Join Google+. Add me to your Circles. Post updates, share pictures, check in at restaurants--see what Google+ has to offer and let me know what you think of it.

Read the last "30 Days" series: 30 Days With the iPad

Day 29: Five Things I Like Most About Google+

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