Facebook updates, Google+ opens to public

Google+ initially saw limited adopters and mixed reviews.  The overall reaction was that while all the features and usability improvements over Facebook were great, everyone was on Facebook already…. you get the idea.  While Google+ might be fun to check out, might even seem more attractive as a social networking site, it is a challenge to get millions of users to pick up everything (online) and move to a new home.  They continue to gain momentum, however, and it seems like Facebook is helping them do it.

Facebook has become known for making substantial changes to the user interface without a whole lot of advance warning or choice for the users.  Recently, they updated their display by introducing a “Facebook within a Facebook” feed on the side bar and adding a “Top News” section at the top of the homepage.  Before that it was updates to the friends list.  These frequent updates have generally been met with more than reluctance by the user base.  Some would even say that they have been met with disgust.  Roughly 86% of users dislike the newest round of Facebook updates.  That statistic can be found on this really great infographic from SodaHead data with other details about users and opinions of Facebook, as well as on the on-going poll available on the Wall Street Journal (87.4% as of 9/25).

At the same time as Facebook’s updates (Kind of.  More updates from Facebook are imminent), Google+ is opening to the public.  The service is no longer invite-only, but is available to all.  They are also amping up the action with an added 100+ features since it was unveiled in June, and more to come.   Integration with email and document storage is only part, though it could be a game changer.  With Google’s full array of services, they are in a position to offer the consumer:

  • social networking
  • photo sharing
  • photo editing
  • email
  • document storage
  • web chat
  • video conferencing
  • search
  • advertising
  • an e-library
  • blogging
  • translation
  • news
  • geo-check ins
  • and more, all from one place

With functionality and ease of use the major item of consideration for the majority of consumers, this may mean quite a bit for the search giant.  Add to that the technology (and attitudes) that has won over the geek crowd and Google+ is in a fantastic position.

If only they can talk more users into jumping ship from Facebook.

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