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OK, Google+ and Facebook Are Competing, But This is Just Getting Ridiculous

21 September 201118 comments Android, inneractive, iPhone, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Industry

By: Hillel Fuld

Is it just me or is this whole social media space getting overcrowded and overhyped? Take two of the hottest names right now and look what is going on. In fact, let’s just focus on what the two platforms, Google+ and Facebook announced last night alone.

Facebook revamped its entire UI with the most noticeable announcements being the news feed. Now, the UI is organized by top stories, which means that the updates with the most comments and likes appear first. Sound familiar? At first, I did not see any way to view recent updates, but there is an option to see that, it’s just not the default.

Now, I am aware that everyone uses these things differently, but I just do not see someone logging into Facebook in order to read the posts with the most likes and comments. In fact, quite often the posts with the most engagement are the ones I want to read the least. They are often the posts written by people who  have many friends and more often than not, the update is some lame quote, profound thought, or random link. I don’t know about you, but I use Facebook to read and stay updated about my friends and family. Top stories just do not work for me.

The thing is Google+ is doing it and the stories that appear on top of the Google+ feed are not the most recent updates but rather the updates that have the most recent comments. I didn’t get it there and I don’t get it on Facebook.

But it doesn’t end there, far from it. Both Google+ and Facebook announced many new features yesterday such as a Google+ API, Google Hangouts going mobile, a new Facebook news ticker and a corner for real time updates. The thing is, from a consumer’s point of view, both these platforms are busy copying each other instead of innovating.

Take the group messaging feature for Google+. It was called Huddle till today. Any guesses what it is called now? Hint: Facebook released its own messaging app, we discussed it here. Yes, the Facebook messaging app is called Messenger as is the Google+ messaging feature. Then again so are the apps from MSN, Yahoo, and others.

Google releases Hangouts, Facebook partners with Skype for video calling. Facebook has likes, Google has +1s. Google organizes the feed based on engagement, Facebook changes the way its news feed is organized so it is based on engagement. You can circle on Google+ without the need to be approved, so Facebook adds the Subscribe button, which does just that. Enough!

This is seriously getting ridiculous. What both these companies are doing is like kids fighting over a toy so much that the parent has to take it away from both kids. The toy being mine and your time spent on their platforms. It is getting so childish and receiving so much attention, that it is only a matter of time before people get fed up and look elsewhere for their social media needs.

Is MySpace still around?

Jokes aside, someone needs to tell Facebook and Google+ that users are not going to be won over by simply copying each other. The bottom line is, the platform with the best UI and the richest feature set will win this game.  Daily UI changes, slow feature releases, and confusing security settings are not exactly what users are looking for in a platform with which they share every last detail of their lives. Just sayin…

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening.
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  1. Wayne Mansfield September 21, 2011

    Agreed!! I am doing a national tour… Facebook for Business and what worked on Monday didn't work on Tuesday… what worked on Tuesday was changed today… give me a break!!

    Facebook should stop already… copying Google isn't a thing its majority user demographic is actually interested in.

    Great post by the way

  2. elie September 21, 2011

    Le sigh. Where's the creativity? Where's the risk-taking? I miss the young companies, the energy, the early products… (though Plus still is that, only in an existing space)… but businesses evolve… Well, let's see how everyone copies each other next!

    Good post.

    • Mark September 21, 2011

      Elie, you might want to check out if you're looking for young companies in the social media industry. We just launched on Wednesday! :) We have a long way to go, but we're super excited about the future.

  3. Adam B September 21, 2011

    Facebook's new status update stream on the right hand sidebar also doesn't do any wonders for laptop battery life.

  4. Sydney September 21, 2011

    I actually disagree with this, although it is childish that these 2 companies are fighting over users, many of my facebook friends posted statuses yesterday in response to the new changes saying "I'm switching to google+" or "I'm deleting my account now". My thought is that not many people are experienced with google plus and are getting so fed up with facebook that soon enough many will switch over. thank goodness for twitter.

  5. Dave Mora September 21, 2011

    I use my social media sites differently. Facebook is more for real world friends and family and Google+ is used mostly for my international connections. I suspect the people that will have the most problems with the new Facebook changes will be those that friend everyone. I personally try and keep my facebook friend count under 100. So, updating the settings to see everyones updates and not just the most recent / highest comment count updates first is not such a big issue. But, I do feel that it should be set the other way around. See every update by default and then go in and filter those who you don't want to see every single update. ( I guess now I have to say Story instead of Update).

  6. Greg McMullen September 21, 2011

    You stated, "At first, I did not see any way to view recent updates, but there is an option to see that, it’s just not the default."

    Where does that setting reside? I too prefer the recent updates vs. the top posts.

  7. brandy September 21, 2011

    You didn't mention I don't think but how do you change it so that you see just recent stories. I hate the top stories thing. Great article by the way

    • hilzfuld September 21, 2011

      If you are logged in, you will see recent stories on top as they are posted. Click that and it will show you all the new posts.

  8. Raj September 21, 2011

    "The bottom line is, the platform with the best UI and the richest feature set will win this game."

    Wrong. It's a popularity contest. Everyone knows and uses Facebook, but g+'s interface is far superior to Facebook. It's so clean and easy to use and the circles system solves so many privacy and other issues.

    Yet no one cares about g+. No one wants to change and I see Facebook being the top dog for a long time to come.

  9. Tomo (@tomosaigon) September 21, 2011

    Curious, how'd you feel when Google+ first came out, and was a service with many innovative new features?

  10. amorson September 21, 2011

    I do not agree about the lack of innovation, they simply copy each other's innovations. Question is, does these innovations improve useability and engagement or hurt it?

  11. Nabeel September 24, 2011

    competition is good but ya facebook is getting ridiculous!

    the facebook timeline is although good to see in their launch video, but not when checked live on my profile! its simply crappy!

  12. Quinn Kathner September 29, 2011

    Agreed. This is getting crazy.

    But Facebook still remains somewhat social for me. Google+ is more professional – or at least I'm trying to keep it professional contacts.

  13. Stikman May 29, 2012

    I disagree, Of course there are going to be similarities between social networks, and competition can only be a good thing, competition drives the future of a company to a higher standard of service! The last one standing will be Google for many reasons,one is You Tube,another is the Android phones,and the most important factor is the search engines,these are just 3 reasons. When you have to search for something on the web no one says"go search it" they say "Google it" Rest my Case! its over Fb, and the stock sale proved it.

  14. michaelhoopson June 24, 2012

    well dennis i got it from a mate so here is there site
    and some info , they have a deal on at the mo ,just say mick told you to ring

  15. paper writing December 17, 2012

    long as you agree that your territory is my turf. I will get privileged access to the economy here and you’ll respectfully host the occupation/presence of my militias on your territory.


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