A Little Friendly Competition: Facebook vs Google+

Remember when Facebook hired a PR company to secretly spread misinformation about Google? Google does. As two giants of the tech world, it’s fair to say that there’s now more than just a healthy dose of competition. And Google has just turned up the heat on the pressure cooker with their latest venture.

Launched on June 28 for invite-only testing, Google+ is already on the verge of 10 million users. With similar features and even aesthetics, it’s hard to not think Facebook is feeling a bit of pressure from their arch nemesis.

As the second born, Google+ has the ability to not just take a few cues from Facebook, but to make some improvements where the social media gods have admonished Facebook. For example? Privacy. It used to be that anybody in the same network as you could see all of your information—from photos to wall to bio. Privacy settings have tightened up slightly as Facebook users have called for it, but Mark Zuckerberg has been vocal about his desire for Facebook to be more public.

After watching from the sidelines, Google knows how much social media users value their privacy. Which is exactly why Google+ has different distinguishable circles of friends, giving you the option to show a specific image or post to certain circles or even specific people. No longer is your message broadcast to everybody.

One thing Google+ has that still hasn’t arrived for Facebook users is the option to video chat. Users can enter a “huddle” where they video chat on Google+. Facebook just recently partnered with Skype, but the option has yet to be fully integrated for all users.

We’re of the persuasion that competition spurs creativity. If Facebook wants to stay #1, they’ve got to step up their game; if Google+ doesn’t want to be a flash in the pan, they’ll have to listen to users about what they really want. Regardless of who comes out on top, it will be interesting to see what changes each social media platform makes to stay in the race.