Facebook has been the dominate social networking Service since overtaking MySpace in 2008 and for the most part has captured the attention of the 30 and under crowd. Since they presently have 800 million active users it is natural for competitors to want to try and take a piece of the market share away from them by finding a hole in the present system or a weakness that they can exploit. Facebook has a very strong following with the young professionals and non-professionals alike and they focus mainly on the individual’s social life. Although Facebook does have the capability to form common interest groups on their platform organized as “friends from School or College”, Businesses” etc., this is not their strength.
Google believes it has spotted an opportunity and created a platform which they hope will penetrate the present social market in their creation of Google+. Google+ has taken the direction of creating a social network which will be directed more towards a person’s professional and business needs targeting an audience similar to LinkedIn. The Google + system differentiates itself from Facebook, by allowing users to create pages, develop relationships with potential customers and better engage with them, to mention a few. If successful this would capture the attention of the 30+ crowd as well as the younger people who are trying to connect to each other on a business level.
Many Businesses already recognize the strength, success and reliability of Google’s search engine, Gmail, Google Earth etc. and therefore it is not a stretch to believe that a social network built upon this system would be just as reliable. Businesses typically do not want to take chances on an unproven product which is why Google may be able to capture a large market share, at a faster pace, utilizing its brand name alone.
Just like the early days of Facebook, people maintained a MySpace and a Facebook account until a clear winner emerged. Google is hoping that they can entice people to come over from Facebook and try them out by offering a more powerful way of communicating and creating group interaction. Google has very deep pockets and plenty of time to slowly build its customer base and chip away at Facebook’s market share. Based on Google’s history they will continually respond to customer feedback, reinvent themselves and add on services. Unless Facebook continues to evolve and outpace their competitors they may see their market share quickly erode.