Google+ is an impressive social effort from Google but what Facebook has that it doesn’t is being a platform. Right now, outside developers can’t build apps on top of Google+, though that functionality is in the works.And top Facebook developer Chris Turitzin writes in a post that the one thing that would make him move to Google+ is “viral channels.”
In other words, the ability to spam you.
When Facebook opened up its platform, it left as many viral channels open as possible to draw in developers attracted by the hypergrowth possible on the platform. Then once the platform was established — and because there was no competition for developers to speak of (Twitter is also a social platform but the usecases are very different–FarmVille for Twitter?) — Facebook started turning down those viral channels one by one. Facebook did that both to benefit the user experience and also because once viral channels are less powerful, developers have to buy Facebook ads to get distribution.
Now developers are frustrated and ready to bail for a platform that would open up those viral channels.
While that’s potentially great news for Google+, it’s potentially bad news for users, as that would mean tons of spammy notifications overnight. (Which, in turn, would be bad for Google+ because it would turn off users.)
After a bit of experimentation, things should settle around some equilibrium at some point.
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