It’s hard to imagine a world where Facebook isn’t the number one social networking site, but with Google making some crafty moves with their Google+ platform the reality is that Facebook could already be losing the fight to reign supreme. Seems unlikely doesn’t it, however, before you dismiss the idea completely consider the following points.
Cast your mind back to when Facebook introduced Timeline and you might recall the ensuing upset and plain old confusion with the new format. A plethora of online surveys have shown that the majority of Facebook users have not warmed to the new design and their level of satisfaction with Facebook has subsequently tanked. More importantly though is the higher level of satisfaction Google+ users have over Facebook as measured by ACSI (The American Customer Satisfaction Index) in their social media category.
It would be fair to say that Facebook have pushed the privacy boundaries too far one too many times and the result is that Facebook users feel even more dissatisfaction with the network. Facebook’s privacy problems of the past could continue to haunt them for a long time yet as users of Google+ awarded Google high satisfaction levels on privacy protection as measured by ACSI.
Another point of interest in terms of Facebook user dissatisfaction is with the irritating ads that abound in Facebook. Herein lies another area where Google+ wins out. To make matters worse for Facebook, they’re quite reliant on mobile ads to grow revenue and appease share holder concerns over future earnings. It’s too soon to say how users will react on the whole to their mobile space being invaded by ads, but if users’ views about ads on the desktop platform are anything to go by things might only go from bad to worse for Facebook.
Google+ – Google Search
Google have made some very smart moves in terms of linking Google+ and their Google search results. When logged in to their account, Google+ users will start to see more and more results of other Google+ users’ web content in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In addition, authors are now encouraged by Google to link their web content to their Google+ profile, resulting in the author’s profile picture showing up in the search results next to their content. Furthermore, those authors whose content proves popular by way of sharing and of course by way of the g +1 mechanism, will grow their Google+ profile as an author. It stands to reason that popular authors’ content will continue to rank high within Google search.
What this all boils down to is that those authors and web masters who aren’t actively building their Google+ profile and network will lose out to those who are. Combine this with the fact that Google+ users are reasonably satisfied and you start to see how Google+ could already be beating Facebook in a number of ways.
There is no denying that the volume of Facebook users outnumber Google+ by an eye watering figure but that doesn’t mean that Facebook are winning on every front. In fact, with Facebook’s disappointing share performance there is little to crow about in the Facebook camp right now. So is Google+ beating Facebook? Yes, in more ways than one.