Today’s my second day on Google Plus (add me here, let’s explore this thing together!), the new social network from Google that some say might have as many as 20 million new members by this weekend — it’s growing an awful lot faster than Facebook did.When you’re growing that fast, Facebook’s 750 million user base actually doesn’t seem insurmountable.
Plus, while Facebook offers access to apps like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, Google has the ultimate embedded app: Google Search.
Anything you find of interest can be broadcast to your social network with a single click or status update, right from the search results or from within your Gmail pane.
What’s so interesting about this is that Facebook is handling the attack in precisely the WRONG way. It’s alienating users, rather than being a gentleman.
There have been numerous reports of Facebook shutting down or otherwise blocking access to programs that make the transition from Facebook to Google Plus easier.
One program simply collects your friends list, but Facebook allegedly found that unacceptable.
That’s intellectual property hubris on a scale that even Apple and Microsoft would giggle at: Facebook really believes it owns who you’re friends with? That’s absolutely ridiculous.
This company had an opportunity to do the right thing — perhaps an open letter from its CEO: “We understand there are some new social networking choices out there on the market, so we want to make sharing on those platforms and experimenting as easy as possible for you.”
If you let people do something, they tend to lose interest in doing it — especially online.
But censor them or restrict them from doing something and… well, you’ve just created massive interest and demand. Now everyone is going to switch to Google Plus, just out of curiosity… to see what Facebook “doesn’t want you to see.”
My prediction stands: Google Plus is a major, major problem for Facebook.
And rather than scoring a classy PR win, Facebook has turned into the desperate ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend who makes it intentionally difficult to explore after the break up.
Add me on Google+. I’m deleting my Facebook account next week. If you need an invite, leave your email address in the comments section below.
Is Google Plus actually a better product? It took me a few hours to get used to the different format, but yes, I believe it’s better. Better control over who sees your information, excellent integration with Gmail, and no clunky “friend requests.”
It’s not light years ahead of Facebook. But it’s an enhancement. And if this is what Google is offering right out of the gate, imagine how good it could be in the coming weeks and months as new features are introduced.