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

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30 Days With Google+: Day 30

I have invested 29 days (and then some) diving into the Google+ social network and exploring what it has to offer. Now, Google has cut the ribbon and opened the door to the general public, so Google+ is an official social network ready to go head to head with Facebook.

The question, though, is can it compete with Facebook?

30 Days With Google+
Google+ is officially launched and the social networking gloves are off.
I have found Google+ to be a very capable social network, and a pleasant experience. When posting the same links and status updates on both Google+ and Facebook, I have found it easier to choose which audience to share with on Google+, simpler to post the status update itself--without regard to maximum character limits on my text, and frequently the Google+ audience has been more involved and engaged--commenting and sharing the posts with others.

But, at the same time I have always known that most of the things that appeared to set Google+ apart are actually possible on Facebook as well. Google just did a better job of making the tools more intuitive and available where people can find and use them.

By running Google+ as a limited Field Trial, though, Google tipped its hand and gave Facebook an opportunity to watch and learn. Facebook sat on the sidelines, monitored the features and capabilities that users seem to appreciate, and rolled many of those features into Facebook. Whatever divide may once have separated them is all but gone at this point.

But, it is hard to ignore the fact that Google+ is the exciting new kid on the block. Out of 750 million Facebook members, I have just over 2,000 followers of my Facebook Page. Not only is 2,000 a paltry sum when you consider that there are three quarters of a billion people on Facebook, but it took a long, long time to get there. I only recently crossed the 2,000 follower threshold after more than a year.

Juxtapose that with Google+. In just over a month I have nearly 1,300 people who have me in their Circles. That's with an audience of only about 25 million Google+ users on an invitation-only limited Field Trial.

Now that Google+ is open to the general public, it will be interesting to see how--or if--the membership explodes. Perhaps the amount of overlap between my Google+ and Facebook networks will increase substantially. Or, maybe they will remain distinct and separate and I will have to maintain a presence on both and tailor my messages and updates accordingly.

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