It’s possible, in a few years from now or sooner I will have to eat my words, but based on my early review, Google+ will not be to Facebook what Facebook was to Myspace. The differences between Google+ and Facebook are small feature differences that are not that significant in my opinion as opposed to a total different user experience when Facebook is compared to Myspace.
The additions to Google+ that has the media raving about are hangouts and circles. Hangouts allow a person to video chat with up to 9 of their friends or business acquaintances at the same time and is a very clean user experience. Circles allows you to group people in to different “circles” so that you can send different updates and share different items with different groups. So family pictures could be shared with your “family” circle while industry news could be shared with your “work” circle.
Both are good features, but the Google created excitement for these features is not enough for people to switch from Facebook is my opinion because it misses the point that most people don’t share many items on Facebook so the benefit of different circles goes away. There are a lot of items shared on Facebook, but a large majority of shared items are done by a small percentage of the people. Most people are just “lurkers” who are interested in what others post, but rarely update themselves. So for these people, there is nit much benefit to circles.
Besides maybe a few occasions a year, I can think of when I would want/need to video chat with more than 1 or 2 people and almost never would I need 10. This may be a good business application, but for everyday users not sure how popular it will be. The one-on-one chat offered by Skype and now Facebook will be adequate for 95% of video chat needs. The option of multi person video chat is intriguing, but lnot likely to be heavily used.
Besides those two features, Google+ is like a mirror image of Facebook. So then the question becomes is it worth it for Facebook users to go through the effort of rebuilding their profiles and reconnecting with all of the their contacts on a different platform? I don’t think so. Myspace had problems with page load times due to the self designed pages as well as they had become overrun by spammers. Facebook has some of that, but not really that bad considering the scope of the problem. People had become fed up with myspace and that is why the switch made sense. I can not say that this is the case for Google+ and Facebook. People may be leaving Facebook, but mainly for boredom, not because they choose Google+.
Do you think there is a chance everyone will leave Facebook to switch to Google+ or is the most that Google could hope for is that users will update two networks?