Who Should Be More Concerned About Losing Users: Facebook or Google?

Facebook Takes Yet Another Cue From Google+

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Who Should Be More Concerned About Losing Users: Facebook or Google?
[ Social Media]

It has seemed fairly clear since Google launched Google+ that Facebook was worried to at least some extent. That’s not to say Facebook thinks it’s on the cusp of becoming the next Myspace, but when a giant like Google takes your product head on, you have to pay attention, and it’s no doubt a little harder to brush off than if a no-name startup tried the same thing.

Should Facebook be worried about Google+ or vice versa? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

That start-up faces a much larger hill to climb in generating a brand and an audience. Google has a built in audience, and it’s enormous. It has a brand that has been turned into a verb. And that was years ago (though it’s still used very frequently).

So while Facebook may not be in any immediate danger, and Google+ may or may not ever become half the size of Facebook, it’s smart of Facebook to look at what is working with Google+ that some people might like better when comparing to Facebook’s user experience. That’s what Facebook is doing. They did (and continue to do) the same thing with Twitter, and Facebook still reigns supreme in social media.

The latest change is subtle, but noteworthy. They have locked the top navigation bar at the top of the screen, so as you scroll down the page, it is always visible. That means you can always see your notifications and the search box.

Google is also testing locking its navigation. It’s already live on image search, and probably just a matter of time before it’s across Google properties. If you use Google+, this navigation bar contains a link to your Google+ profile and a status update box. That means you’re never too far away from Google+ while you’re using Google.

In Facebook’s case, the sticky navigation bar could increase engagement with the notification counter always visible. Interestingly, it also keeps the search box visible. This could also increase engagement, but if Facebook does more with search, as it has often been speculated that they will (especially now that they’re in such heavy competition with Google), search is always right there. This could potentially make Facebook a greater threat to Google in the search realm. Facebook already taps Bing for its web search results, and Bing is already growing its market share little by little.

Americans alone already (collectively) spend a century on Facebook in a month’s time.

Interestingly, the sticky Facebook navigation bar doesn’t keep the publishers box for posting status updates at the top at all times.

Other things Facebook has done lately that are kind of Google+-esque:

  • Circles-like sharing. Last month, Facebook announced new sharing features that make it easier to share things with the people you actually want to share them with. This has been one of the things that people have found most appealing about Google+‘s Circles.
  • New friend list options. Just this week, Facebook announced some new options for friends lists, which is really kind of an extension of that last feature. Also like Circles, it’s a way to separate your friends.
  • Subscriptions. Also this week, Facebook also announced subscriptions for profiles that share information publicly. Basically, it’s just a way to follow people without them having to follow you back. Twitter has done this for years, but it seem to have taken Google+‘s arrival to get Facebook to offer similar functionality.

There have also been other random signs that Facebook is a little worried about Google+. For example, remember when Facebook blocked that Google+ user’s ad? Facebook has also been stingy about Google+ users getting their FB contacts into Google+.

The point is, in the few short months since Google+ launched, Facebook has rushed to do things that make the two services more alike. To be fair, Google+ (without question) borrowed plenty from Facebook to begin with, but the differences between the two seem to be getting less and less.

That is one major reason why Google+ itself faces a tremendous uphill battle. Facebook is giving users less reasons to like Google+ better. And Facebook already has all of the users. Meanwhile, Google+ gets to keep trying to convince people that it’s the place to be as opposed to Facebook.

Google did finally launch the first Google+ API, which should help in making Google+ more useful as third-party apps are able to build around it.

On the other hand, Google Buzz has APIs too.

It’s not as if Facebook and Google+ can’t co-exist, but Google has put a lot of time and resources in to making Google+ the best Facebook competitor it can be. Will it all be worth it?

Who should be more concerned about its rival’s recent moves: Facebook or Google? Tell us what you think.

Who Should Be More Concerned About Losing Users: Facebook or Google?
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  • http://www.cosmeticsurgerymarketingguide.com/ Cosmetic Surgery Marketing

    Facebook should never be worried about Google plus because most of the people just created account but not using it. The plus point with google plus is that “Its going consider as ranking signal in Google algo”.

    • http://www.seoexpertforyou.com/ SEO Expert

      The thing you don’t understand is that people are signing up for it and a lot of people are. Especially everything takes some time to get started, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Google + gives a punch to Facebook, but I don’t expect it to give it a knockout punch anytime soon.

  • http://www.scriptadda.com ScriptAdda.com

    FaceBook dont have to worry in his part, as facebook is only a social networking web site, gogole+ is concentrating on ranking part, yes its true that google+ is a Networking website, but google+ is not concentrating totally on networking community, its not an Community platform, its just an sharing platform, so why FaceBook will be worried about that…
    When facebook and twitter can take the marjet of Orkut then we dont think Google +, facebook and twitter will compete with each other, they all have their own USP to play in market.

    Now you can also start the social networking website like facebook.com with 40% discount just use “emailpromo” as a Coupon code wile checkout..


  • herb

    Facebook is o a slippery slope, upload a video and they remove it, yet its free to view o u tube, im now waiting for my application from Google+ and its goodby Facebook….

  • Bob Rodriguez

    This is an excellent question!

    However, if I were to bet on one vs. the other; I would choose Google hands down. Facebook should worry that people in this fast paced world will wake up one morning and see that they have wasted countless hours of their life reading meaningless posts from people that they don’t know.

    Only time will tell.


  • Candide43130

    Google+ may come up the loser this time. Google has bigger fish to fry and unlike the company that Facebook knocked off to become the dominant social medium platform, Facebook is learning from its mistakes and fixing at least some of its flaws while it borrows the best of the competition’s innovations.

  • http://2index.net Said Bakr

    I think that the competition between Google and Facebook will be geographical dependent. In other word, when and where users will find related social data about important events on any one of them, they will be migrate to the more rich side in information.

    For example: Suppose that in X country there is a hot revolution, and users always found important stuff and key men accounts on Google, so users in this country may migrate from Facebook to Google.

    The future of social networks will depend on the quality not the popularity.

  • http://asylum-et.com/ Follow the leader

    As far as I am concerned google+ is vaporware. It is not existent. They pull this nonsense all the time to create some sort of hype. Limiting access to a select group. Been a part of that A list before. Nothing special. They take an existing idea, add a bunch of other websites features to it and call it their own. Why? Because they can. I’ll not be making any plans to use + and facebook… Well that website is a joke as well.

  • Shannon

    Tried G+ for a few days. Got bored and continue to use Facebook. I’m so over the G+ hype, it won’t replace FB or Twitter for me any time soon.

  • http://www.webmarketingtips4u.com/ TPJaveton

    Hey Chris,

    Interesting question, the answer to which may be just as interesting.

    Since the question relates to the two companies (and not Google+ or Google Buzz to Facebook), then Google would probably have to be more concerned about losing users because they could lose users from so many different areas, e.g. Gmail, Buzz, Google+, etc.

    But Facebook would lose users only to other social networks, and since FB is at the top of its game in what it does, it doesn’t have to worry as much. That’s my take on it.

    The Google Facebook comparisons are always interesting because they are two dynamic companies going hard at it. Thanks.


  • pebuce

    has even invited me just – ugh to the “+ beer” …

  • Jon

    Google is getting too damn big – they want every slice of the cake and thats getting dangerous, do you really want to live in a Google world?

    I hope users choose to support facebook – you will miss the diversity if you loose it.

    Based on current interfaces I would say Facebook is quirky and not always clear in terms of usability and so on but in some ways that makes it kind of fun – its got the good qualities of an amateurish site. As a pro IT guy I initially didnt like their quirks very much but I think they are growing on me, I think they should keep their rather under whelming design and appearance – its a refreshing change against the backdrop of ever slicker presentations on the web.

    I dont think Google are very good at being “FUN” its not part of their corporate identify and culture and I think younger folk will spurn Google as being representative of adult authority.

    I hope Google will stay at what they are good at, searches and serious code and apps – let Facebook do the fun stuff.

  • http://learngraphicwebdesign.com Dan Dumitrache

    Facebook can’t be accessed in Vietnam but Google+ can. Here (in Vietnam), Google+ is a good alternative to Facebook. I don’t think Facebook can be replaced in near future. Anyway, I love Google products.

    • http://scrabblecheat.com steve

      Doesn’t matter. Facebook won’t lose to a nerdy company like Google. Facebook is more the cheater type and they always know what works with people.
      Google is good with analytics and facebook with social.
      Google is just wasting money here.
      I know I am a cheater , Scrabble Cheat
      and I know Google from the 2000’s

  • http://www.ivdisplays.com/ Vinay Menon

    Both are unique products and it is the hype which makes both the products competitive. I love both of the products and I cannot do without one in my daily life, so is for many I know.

    • moonlight

      You really should try getting out more.

  • http://uplog.org Israel Rothman

    Facebook, personal, Google+, business to business

  • http://www.tennisfitnesslove.com Tennis Fitness

    I signed up for Google+, I don’t using it daily (yet), but I am using Facebook less and less. I have almost 5,000 friends, it’s getting messy, and I cannot accept more. I was trying to switch to a page, but it is just not the same experience. So unless Facebook increases the limit of friends, I may just transition to Google+ instead of building up my FB page.

  • http://www.lakeshorecollection.com Cindy

    I’d bet on Facebook. Google+ came in late, so they’re counting on everyone, AND their friends, to migrate over. People will tend to stay where their friends already are, and if people have time constraints for social networks, they won’t be tempted to be active on yet another.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    Those who should be most concerned are those who covet wealth above all else.

    • http://www.cybergoogle.com dan hates google

      You Must be liberal stupid . You yourself commit the sins of covet anothers goods and Envy … You can see someone else sin but not your own … Wealth by the way is not evil or bad .It’s the love of money over God that the sin .

      • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

        I don’t believe what a moron you are. Read the question , again! What is asked is “who should be more concerned about losing users” and you have a choice of two entities. Users in this environment means “eyes” which translates into dollars. Which ever one is the one who cares more about money than their users experience!
        Where did God enter into this?! What are you a religious nut? Get a hold of yourself man … chill.

        • http://www.gigsandgames.com Bigmart

          Well said Captain! There always seems to be one who doesn’t quite have the attention span to remember what the question was, and wants to bring a third party into the discussion. Using insulting and silly behaviour, shows their true colours! I understood your answer, and agree wholeheartedly, it is all about money, and not about serving the needs of followers, why does there have to be a monopoly situation, when the web is so huge, there is room for all comers.

  • http://skimtv.com Charles Straub

    I am so upset with Google, I don’t want to have anything to do with them. they are nothing but big power mad bullys. They bought out SLIDE and then started closing down some of my favorite apps. Supper Poke Pets was my favorite game. I hope FaceBook kicks Google’s butt.

  • http://www.nobel4.blogspot.com Fekrey

    i think there is future to google +
    face book have hard rules in adding friends and block many users daily

    • Facebook Hater

      Agree. They suggest some friend, and when I try to add them as friend, they block me for spam. What the hell!

  • http://www.cybergoogle.com dan hates google

    Google just plain thinks it God anymore. Sadly on the other hand Facebook has become more like Google in it high minded thinking.
    Facebook seem unwilling to stay in contact with it users.It’s like pulling teeth to get support from facebook.Have they ever heard of the old saying the customers always right .. Neither of this 2 companies seem to give a damn about what we the user wants or thinks.

  • http://www.interiorpassion.com Interior Passion

    I concur. Well said

  • William

    Like everything else, Facebook will be just another thing. I see Facebook being around until someone does come up with something better in which I feel that is coming much sooner than later.

  • http://webbeetle.com.au webbeetle

    [Facebook] have locked the top navigation bar at the top of the screen, so as you scroll down the page, it is always visible. That means you can always see your notifications and the search box.

    Is that an American thing, or browser dependant? Because that’s not happening with Firefox in Australia (although: I’m still using Firefox 5 due to issues with Firebug not working in the latest upgrade)…

    • http://robertmaxim.com RobMax

      Firebug working with 6.02
      No longer in Tools menu. Must right click mouse and select “Inspect element”.

  • http://www.bellycommoditytrading.com winnie

    I prefer using facebook, it find many useful application for my own business which I have not seen in google +. If in the futures, Google has more advantages for me, I will change to use it.

  • hupf

    As long as have my marbles, I won’t use either one, and I feel sorry for those who do !

  • Blair

    I think google is trying to have their hands everywhere now (cell phone, social network, TV, etc). This may suggest that their main business core is shaking, and they are trying to compensate elsewhere. Anyway, they are not innovating. While this is about social network, you may also take a look on this social networking fundraising website www.globalvodo.com, a great fit for fundraisers, non profit to raise funds and network with volunteers and donors around the world.

  • http://www.ridge-workwear.co.uk ROB STEELE

    mmm don’t use any and don’t wish to really!!

    • http://www.q3tech.com/technology.html Software development services

      no offense rob.. but where have u been past 6 years. The whole world is on it. Well if you do wish to join any of them in the near future, you should totally go for Google+ as its for the intelligent people and not just for anyone who is looking for attention !

  • http://www.wright-on-the-money.com Bigmart

    I don’t believe Google+ is a threat to Facebook, Google + is for more intelligent people, and Facebook is for the masses who have lost the power of true communication, and worry more about what people are saying about them on there. If only youngsters especially, could be shown that a phonecall, or even a face-to-face conversation, is worth a million silly posts on Facebook, many of which get misunderstood because of the lack of people skills learned from a “virtual life” and no real life. Leave Facebook for the idle and under-educated, and and the rest of us will have Google+, without all the rubbish.

  • http://www.robsteele.co.uk graphic guy

    I use facebook and that’s enough for me thanks.

  • http://www.unizikforum.com unizik

    Facebook should be worried. Google is making a very strategic move and they will certain take some facebookers.

    • mpruett673

      If facebook keeps the current news feed, I think a lot of people will give up and leave. It’s awful and I resent facebook deciding for me what is interesting and what is not. I can’t read my news in order now because they think they know what the top stories are. So, I’m missing posts, unless I got to each friend’s page and read what they have posted. The ticker is annoying and unless you sit there 24 hours a day, you miss everything but what’s posted in the past minute or two, most of which is stuff from people you don’t even know. It’s the worst mess they could have possibly made!

  • http://www.unizikforum.com unizikforum

    No doubt i will check out the google+ facebook can wait.

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    I think what will determine which service ultimately triumphs — if either does — is the level of customer service they offer people. Right now each of them offer nothing to people who are having problems and both have bugs that aren’t fixed although Facebook seems to have a lot more of those than Google. People will eventually get tired of these things. I myself am sick of Facebook’s problems and the complete lack of response you get from them. One of them is going to wake up and smell the coffee someday and they will dominate social when they do.

  • moonlight

    Well, I’m not on FB and don’t plan to be. Not interested in Google+ and have no use for it. Not on here for friends and socializing. I’m here conducting business. I get my work done, turn the pc off and get outside in the sunshine instead of sucking up radiation from my pc screen all day.

    There really is a real world out there with blue skies, fluffy white clouds, fresh air, green grass, beautiful flowers and tall trees. Oh my! what is that over there? A beach with sand and rolling ocean waves? WOW!

    Not a slave to G, it’s not my world. Not interested in joining +1 “cliques”. Just not what I’m into.

    • Stephen

      You got that right Moonlight. I can’t stand this social crap, “i have 483,000 fake friends.” What a waste of time, and to boot, it’s nothing but a sales tool for those pushing their products or services. Same with twit, I’d like to see them all blown up, and it might force some people to actually get a life!

  • http://www.nepalruralsociety.org Devaraj Dhakal

    Welcome to Rural Environment Conservation Society
    (Recos Nepal) is absolutely not profitable social organization working in remote areas of Nepal since 2008. The main aims and objectives of the organization is to work for the people form back warded and deprived society as well as to protect the natural beauty and to protect the natural environment as well. It is approved from the bodies of Nepal government and started its social activities from Dhading districk

  • http://www.losewithherbs.com jimmy johnston

    I tink facebook should be worried.Their design is oldfashioned looking and they needs some fresh concept ideas.i myself believe its just a fad.

  • Bob,Boulder, Colorado

    facebook should be more worried, since everybody is on facebook, they can only go downhill, they cannot increase their number of users

  • http://www.ldii-sidoarjo.org LDII

    I agree Google is the worst today

  • http://www.ldii-sidoarjo.org LDII

    I agree Google is the worst today and will lose its potential market for its inconsistent algorithm. How it is possible a scrapper which full with duplicate contents site can exist at page #1 while the PR2 original site in page 9.

  • http://about.me/roberto_red_rossi Roberto

    do someone knows why i should re-begin to create a new network of friend and work relationship on g+ when i just spent 4 years on fb to make it?
    or better, why i should wait to get in touch with my favourite brand on g+?

  • http://www.wirelesssecurity-system.com/ Kamaeni

    I am more worried about losing users google but facebook also important

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