Facebook has dominated the social media grid for years with no real competitor insight….until now. With every great concept comes great competition; it all comes down to the decisions of the board and the vision of the company that controls whether the leading company should stay on top or fall. While the title of this article does reference “Google Gaining”, I want you to know that I use that phrase loosely.
In order to make this a fair analysis, you need to know that Facebook’s user base is relatively strong minus the (8.7%) 85 Million fake Facebook accounts. Google on the other hand not only has fake user accounts but many users have 1-3 Google email accounts. To top off the Google user account, the online giant is now requiring all companies listed within its “Google Places” application must sign up for a Google+ account so they can manage their new Google Plus Local Business Page. What does this mean? Well, Google is forcing any business that wants to be listed in their business listing section to signup for an account. This then increases their overall user count as well as increases the usage of their Google+ social application.
Google Plus Catching Up
In an article at TechCrunch, Google is quickly catching up to the social media giant.
“According to the latest data from social login provider Janrain, Facebook continues to be the most popular identity provider for social logins, but the social network is starting to lose some ground to Google.”
Facebook currently accounts for about 46% of social logins on Janrain and Google’s share is 34%. For Facebook, that’s a 3% drop from Q4 2012, however, while Google’s share increased by exactly those same 3%. This is the second consecutive quarter during which Facebook lost ground to Google. Janrain argues that this is a sign of the “trust and affinity felt toward Google’s service.” It’ll be interesting to see if Google’s push to make its Google+ logins the standard for sites that use Google logins will allow it to increase usage in the coming quarters. Janrain just added Google+ logins to its feature set, so it’ll likely make an appearance in its next report.
As Janrain’s report also notes, there are large geographic differences between which service users prefer for their social logins. In the Netherlands, for example, the social networking site Hyves accounts for a large share of logins through Janrain, while Google’s Orkut remains popular in Brazil and India.
In an article posted by Foxnews.com on Google’s Controversial Tactic, you get a better idea of Google’s plan to take over the social grid.
Google is challenging Facebook with a controversial tactic: requiring people to use the Google Plus social network.
The result is that people who create an account to use Gmail, YouTube and other Google services—including the Zagat restaurant-review website—are also being set up with public Google+ pages that can be viewed by anyone online. Google+ is a Facebook rival and one of the company’s most important recent initiatives as it tries to snag more online advertising dollars.
“Google is “trying too hard to compete with Facebook, and if people aren’t going to share willingly, they’ll make them share unwillingly,” he said.”
The impetus comes from the top. Google chief executive Larry Page has sought more aggressive measures to get people to use Google+, two people familiar with the matter say. Google created Google+ in large part to prevent Facebook from dominating the social-networking business.
Both Facebook and Google make the vast bulk of their revenue from selling ads. But Facebook has something Google wants: Facebook can tie people’s online activities to their real names, and it also knows who those people’s friends are. Marketers say Google has told them that closer integration of Google+ across its many properties will allow Google to obtain this kind of information and target people with more relevant (and therefore, more profitable) ads.
Some users of Google’s services are startled to learn how far the integration can reach. Sam Ford, a 26-year-old Navy petty officer, says he signed up for Google+ on his smartphone because it would let him automatically upload new photos to a Google+ folder—one that he kept private. Later, he says, he was surprised to see that his Google+ profile page—which includes his name—was tied to a software review that he wrote recently on the Google Play online store.
Google is “trying too hard to compete with Facebook, and if people aren’t going to share willingly, they’ll make them share unwillingly,” he said.
The Google Plus vs. Facebook Conclusion
Both Google Plus and Facebook have a long way to go and what matters is value, not just to the stock holders but to the consumers as well. It will be interesting to see if Joe Public accepts Google+ and starts to migrate to this service but I think it is unlikely.