Is Facebook the new Myspace? Has Google+ taken over? In short, no. Twitter isn’t going to disappear in the near future either. I wouldn’t worry about competition from social networks like Snapchat, Tumblr, Path, Medium, Vine or Pocket either. Facebook is not the next Myspace just yet because it has a real revenue model. Facebook’s ads just keep getting better because they keep getting more targeted. This is due to Facebook continually adapted it’s model to gathering more and more about its users and then sharing this on the open graph. Facebook has more than vital data; it has desire data. Every time we hit “like,” we are aiding their cause.
Google isn’t standing by watching however. Google+ just keeps getting better. It takes some getting used to but the integration with YouTube, Hangouts and Google Apps continues to get tighter, slicker and it’s starting to matter. Best of all, there are over half a billion users and growing fast. It’s holding steady with Twitter in number of users and posts are on the rapid rise. Advertising is coming and with their knowledge from Adwords, I’d be very careful counting them out.
What’s missing in Google+? Much. It still has an awkward interface and anyone with multiple Google accounts is frustrated daily. It’s simply not intuitive, yet. Advertising is not yet a viable option, but I’m betting Adwords, Analytics and Adsense are slated for integration soon. I’m not sure if Google has the same plans for Google+ as it once did. Perhaps it’s simply a tool to help dominate as an integration platform. All things Google seems to be the direction. Google Apps continues to improve. Google Drive is now going head to head with Dropbox and what’s it called, oh ya, Skydrive (Microsoft).
Skype, now a Microsoft company, continues to be a solid choice for communicating for free but don’t deny Google Hangouts as a competitor. Again, integration is the key here. Skype is a standalone app and Microsoft is far from figuring out how to integrate its offerings with its new cloud based Office offering and its cross-platform devices: Windows 8, Windows 8 Phone and Surface.
It seems Microsoft is fighting battles on two fronts. The hardware and software integration of Surface, phones (Microsoft now owns Nokia) and operating systems against a worthy, and IMHO better adversary, Apple. But don’t leave Google out of this race with its acquisition of Motorola, it’s fighting the two-pronged battle as well. The other front/prong is cloud based software integration. I think Apple has the advantage with client side apps, but Google definitely has Microsoft chasing their tail in the cloud.
Anyhow, once again, we ask, is Facebook the new Myspace? Google, while they have many challenges to face going forward, the one advantage they have is a single focus. They are not in the device game and they aren’t an app company. They dominate the social networking space, they’re gaining momentum in advertising against Google and if we’re not careful, we might wake up one morning to a Facebook Search page. “Just Facebook it,” people might say. Or, will Google retain their might in search with an explosion in Google+ users and functionality? I’d bet on that. Is there room for two? Or three?
MySpace died because it didn’t know what it wanted to be or become. Facebook became that. Google+ is becoming that with the benefit of hindsight, tremendous resources and desire. The race is on and the winner will have: users, functionality, ease of use, and most importantly, passion of the users.