Losing Its Cool – Is Facebook Embarrassing Itself To Keep Up With Google Plus?
By Ralf Skirr.
The most circled Google+ user? Ironically it’s Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with 475,697 followers.
After Google launched its service on June 28th, he created his own profile and quickly covered the top spot.
It was a cool move of him. That he created his own Google+ profile exuberated an aura of self-confidence.
‘We’re cool with Google+, we’re not afraid.’
Within days, Facebook’s coolness vanished like morning mist in the rise of a supernova.
Google+ received raving reviews, and its user base grew faster than any social network before. News started to popup that Facebook banned accounts and apps who promoted Google+ in any way.
Facebook suspending ad accounts.
On July 15th, Facebook suspended web developer Michael Lee Johnson’s advertising account because one of his ads promoted his Google+ profile.
The ad said: "If you're lucky enough to have a Google+ account, add Michael Lee Johnson, Internet Geek, App Developer, Technological Virtuoso."
Facebook said: "Your account has been disabled. All of your adverts have been stopped."
Not so cool anymore.
Getting cold feet?
On August 11th, just hours after Google+ launched its games tab, Facebook announced improvements to its own games platform. One can’t help but wonder if Facebook is starting to work hard to stay ahead of Google+.
I’m not saying they hadn’t been working on that for a long time, but the timing of the announcement is suspicious.
Are they rolling out their features in a mere response to what Google+ does?
- Facebook didn’t announce their group chat and video call feature until after Google+ had beta launched, getting great feedback for their video hangouts.
- Shortly after Google announced it will offer a custom profile type for businesses, Facebook launched its ‘Facebook for Business’ page.
- Then Facebook announced their game improvements, just a day after Google+ launched its own games.
- Well, just read below…
The news today, Facebook likes the clarity of circles, straight from Facebook’s blog.
Facebook says: “Today we're announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want.
You have told us that "who can see this?" could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward.”
Facebook should say: “Today we're announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want.
Google+ circles are such a success; we finally had to make a move. Our users did complain in the past, but we didn’t care as much as we do now.”
It's not only a response to the targeted sharing that is possible with Google+, it's also a response to the frequent privacy issues, that Google+ addressed better than Facebook.
What do you think? Google+ banks on the weaknesses of the old Facebook. Did Facebook need the competition to improve? Are they afraid now of big bad Google+?