Will Google+ Maim Twitter?

Twitter may have more reason to worry than Facebook

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Will Google+ Maim Twitter?
[ Social Media]

There’s been a great deal of talk about Google+ as a Facebook competitor, but how does Google+ stack up as a Twitter competitor? Some think Twitter should be more concerned than Facebook.

I don’t want to say Google+ will “kill” Twitter. Not a big fan of those “this thing will kill this thing” proclamations. Even MySpace still has millions of users. I think “maim” is a more appropriate word though. Google+ could very well damage Twitter’s momentum.

Do you think Google+ is a threat to Twitter? Comment here.

A lot of the Google+ vs. Twitter talk is happening on Google+ itself. These are people that are actually using the service, and actively at that. Many of these early adopters, were also early adopters to Twitter, it’s worth noting.

iEntry CEO and WebProNews publisher Rich Ord recently made some comparisons, saying, “”To me it’s like Twitter in Facebook form on steroids!” He also said, “Google+ looks a lot like Facebook but actually functions more like Twitter. The key is that on Google+ you follow and get followed without reciprocation, just like Twitter. IMO Google+ is competing more for my Twitter time, rather than my Facebook time.”

He also made a good point about the Circles feature, which could be thought of in comparison to Twitter lists..if only they were shareable. “Warming up to Google+ as a business tool. Viewing the company people work for on mouseovers is immensely helpful in finding people for circles.”

Influential social media guy Chris Brogan responded, “Agreed. I’m doing what I can to find people for circles via surfing the interesting folks.”

Other influential social media guy Jason Falls wrote, “I’m wondering if content sharing on Google+ will be more efficiently used than on Twitter. A) I’d be sharing with people who choose to follow me (similar to Twitter), but the action=content prioritization of G+ would put that content in front of more people?”

On our Facebook Page, we asked, “What do you like better: Twitter or Google+?”

We got some interesting responses. One was, “What do you like better: cheese or girls?” I find a few more similarities between Twitter and Google+ than between cheese and girls, but interesting comment nonetheless.

One said, “Too early to tell.” Perhaps.

Another said, “Both.”

Some said Google+. Some said neither. Nobody said Twitter.

Twitter or <a href=Google+?” src=”http://images1.ientrymail.com/webpronews/pictures/twitter-or-plus.jpg” title=”Twitter or Google+?” class=”aligncenter” width=”483″ height=”707″ />

Of course there are plenty of takes being expressed on Twitter as well:

Facebook = Star Wars, Twitter = Empire Strikes Back, Google+ = Return of the Jedi. MySpace = Stupid prequels. 2 days ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Am I the only person who doesn’t care about Google+? Call me when all my friends have gone there and left Facebook and Twitter. 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

So I’m on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail & now Google + this shit is getting out of hand if you need me just contact my cell 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Over the past few years, Twitter’s 140-character limit saved me from destroying my career. Google+‘s unlimited will reverse that in a week. 11 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Why is everyone hating on #Google+ today? My Twitter feed is filled with negativity, lighten up everyone!! 1 hour ago via Twitter for Mac · powered by @socialditto

Matthew Ingram at GigaOm wrote an article asking, “Is G+ more of a threat to Twitter than Facebook?

Steve Rubel of Edelman responded (via Google+): “I really think it is, sorry Twitter.”

In the article, Ingram notes that Rubel is de-emphasizing Twitter focus in favor of Google+, while Digg founder Kevin Rose has redirected his blog to his Google+ account “because there is better conversation there.”

Vator News reported on a BrightEdge study finding that Google’s +1 buttons are already being adopted more than Twitter’s share and Instant Follow buttons. Given that they’ve only been around since early June, that’s pretty impressive.

BrightEdge Research - Social Button Adoption

There are some things to take into consideration here. +1 buttons, while present throughout the Google+ experience, are not exactly the equivalent of a “share to Google+” button. The main draw for publishers to implement the buttons is the potential of influencing search rankings. Twitter sharing does play into that in a more indirect way, but Google has said flat out that +1’s influence rankings. Meanwhile, Google and Twitter have been unable to come to an agreement thus far, regarding the use of Twitter’s firehose. It will be very interesting to see how Google+ impacts search over time – particularly real-time search, which for some sites can have a pretty significant impact on pageviews.

“Twitter has been available to the public for over 5 years. It had a much slower start than Google+, but that’s because of the size of Twitter at the time it launched compared to Google now. Twitter was a small startup with next to no funding; Google is a multi-billion-dollar internet behemoth,” says Lauren Dugan on AllTwitter, an unofficial Twitter resource blog. “However, over the last 5 years, Twitter has gained much media attention and has attracted notable users from the ranks of the celebrities, sports stars, politicians and other icons throughout the world.”

“But despite this growth in awareness, Twitter still hasn’t broken through into the mainstream in terms of actual use,” she adds.

She’s writing in response to a Google+ post from Paul Allen of Ancestry.com, who through some interesting analysis has Google+ pegged at around 10 million users, and on pace to hit 20 million by the weekend. Grain of salt encouraged, but you can read more about this here.

“Now, Twitter touts the fact that it has well over 200 million (and probably more than 300 million) registered users, but in terms of active users, like most of the new signups for Google+ undoubtedly are, the number is likely much less,” writes Dugan. “Think about 10x less… meaning Google+ may have amassed about half of Twitter’s user base in only two weeks.”

Google+ has come about at an interesting time in Twitter’s lifecycle. 2011 has been a year of big changes at Twitter, with the stepping away of co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone and the return of co-founder Jack Dorsey, who also runs the hot mobile payments startup Square.

Since Dorsey’s return, Twitter has been much more aggressive in its conquest for increased user interest, engagement, and retention. This has manifested itself in subtle ways, like design tweaks and ways of suggesting users, and bigger ways, like the acquisition of TweetDeck and the announcement of native photo sharing.

Twitter has faced a fair amount of backlash from developers, over its apparent strategy of weeding out some of the most popular ones by entering the territory on which their respective businesses are built upon (photos, mobile apps, etc.). Twitter has even reportedly caught the eye of the FTC over its competitive practices in this regard ,though in my opinion, all of these developers have already been playing in Twitter’s territory to begin with. When you rely on a third-party like this for your entire business, you have to be prepared for this kind of thing.

Facebook app developers know what I’m talking about. The recent “ban bot” fiasco saw some legitimate Facebook apps get shut down without warning because an algorithm deemed them too spammy. It’s a different scenario, but it drives home the same point: building businesses that rely on bigger businesses to not only thrive, but to operate entirely, is a risky game.

Of course, Google is no stranger to government scrutiny of competitive practices. The FTC recently launched a broad investigation into the company’s business practices, and that started before the company even announced Google+ which should be seen as a direct competitor to: Facebook, Twtitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon (if this last one seems a little questionable to you, I’m basing this on the Sparks feature – a content discovery tool based on the topics you define as your interests – this is essentially what StumbleUpon is, despite its differences in execution), etc.

So yes, there is a lot of competition here. It’s not likely that Google+ will hurt the company in the eyes of the government on the competitive level. It’s got some dragons to slay before it gets to that point – obviously the 700 million-user dragon controlled by Mark Zuckerberg (who has a Google+ account).

That’s not to say Google will never get to that point. It’s way too early to tell just how big this is going to get, but early buzz has been incredibly strong, especially considering the skepticism that usually accompanies Google’s social efforts. Bill Gross thinks it might be the fastest-growing social network ever, and there are still plenty of people just waiting for their invites.

While there is still a whole lot of room for improvement, Google has done some very smart things in the way it has integrated Google+ with its other properties. The navigation bar across Google properties with Google+ notifications in a bright red box with a number in it will keep people coming back (Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing said, “Sheesh, that little red number is like G+ crack!”). As will email notifications and the mobile notifications. The mobile app is also a powerful tool, and one that I believe will be very crucial in driving the continued success and customer retention of Google+. Instant upload (for photos) is very convenient and powerful. Right now, Android users get to use it. Soon, iPhone users will too, and then a whole other large segment of people will be able to see these benefits and conveniences first-hand.

And that brings us back to Twitter. iOS 5, coming this fall, will have deep Twitter integration, which will be huge for Twitter. Many people will adopt or simply use Twitter more frequently as their ID. It will be what they’re using throughout many of their IPhone (and iPad) apps.

However, many people are already using their Google IDs for a lot of things (especially on Android), and the beauty of Google+ is that it’s not a new ID. It’s essentially just new features and integrations built around the ID many people have been using for years, whether from Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa Web Albums, YouTube, Google Reader, Google Calendar, etc.

While I do believe that Google+ and Facebook are very much in competition with one another (these companies are in more than one area, as we’ve discussed numerous times), Twitter is very much a part of this conversation.

Can Twitter survive Google+? Tell us what you think.

Follow me on Google+ here. If you need an invite, send us an email at googleinvites@webpronews.com, and we’ll see what we can do.

Will Google+ Maim Twitter?
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  • http://www.wsd.co.il/תיק_עבודות Aviran

    I doubt google+ will replace twitter, but it will withdraw new SEO`rs and other people who got interest in publishing their website/business.

    Twitter will use, exactly like facebook, just as another tool, so does facebook.

  • http://www.em3marketing.com Janyer Dominguez

    Neither nor, I think Google+ will die, unfortunately we don’t have time to interact with another social network. Also people are not going to leave their social games on Facebook, try telling a Farmville player to use Google+ their first question is going to be can I play Farmville there?

    I am telling you this might be another Google Wave moment :(

  • http://niches4u.com michael Lurie

    Google is always a threat to any free enterprize online.Period.It’s the single biggest monopoly I have ever seen online.

  • http://www.ferienhaus29.de ferienhaus-bretagne

    at the moment I can’t test it, let’s see but I think twitter will be without competition for a long time. It’s not so easy to pull customers from a popular network to another one. Only time will tell.

    salutations amicales

  • http://simplemanssurvivalguide.blogspot.com/ radiomn1

    Google+ doesn’t really pose any threat to Facebook. Both companies offer users a quality, generally positive experience and value that you can really only get from those sites — mostly because that’s where everyone else is. However, Twitter doesn’t offer as much. I’ve only been on Twitter for a few weeks, and despite its billing as a simpler site, it somehow feels more cluttered than Facebook or Google+. Also, Google+ and Facebook seemingly make it easier to interact with friends in a few clicks. Twitter just isn’t that intuitive. Read more about my Twitter experience on my humor blog: http://simplemanssurvivalguide.blogspot.com/2011/07/epic-twitter-fail.html

  • http://www.buy-senuke.com buy senuke

    Very informative post! I think that there is a very real chance that Twitter will be negatively harmed by Google+. There will be more competition on the social media front which is only a good thing for the users. Twitter will still do well and I think in the long run it will still retain the large majority of its users.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      It will be interesting to see if a lot of celebs get on Google+. Could make a huge difference.

      • http://www.loveishurt.com/gethimback.htm get him back

        I never thought of that Chris. This would have a huge appeal for the general public as well as big businesses using celebrities to endorse their products. What do you think?

  • http://www.loveishurt.com/gethimback.htm get him back

    I think that it could very well upset it for a short while, but the impact will be temporary. Facebook and Twitter are both very different formats and people use them for different reasons. Google+ will be something entirely different again.

  • http://newmovementmedia.com/ Shawn Lyles

    I believe Google has got it right this time. I think all the other social networks Like Twitter and Facebook have to worry about what will really come of Google +. I have been reading up on and using the functions of the Google + platform and I think it will help change the way people are implementing social to their searches. Read more about this on our blog http://newmovementmedia.com/blog/

  • http://Www.julesdesign.ca Jules

    If you want a high SERP, you better adopt Google’s +1

    Remember: he with the gold makes the rules

  • http://graceycastro.com Gracey

    Where is the +1 on this article?

  • R.C. Bottles

    Google+ WILL be a threat to Twitter, having more interface value to flaunt. All Google + has done vs Facebook is awaken a sleeping giant, which in the long run will make Facebook even better-which is NOT good news for Google+. I would liken Google+ jumping into the social site market to Michael Jordan leaving basketball and trying excel in baseball. The big name is there, but NOT the talent. I don’t think Google+ will be around for the long haul.

  • http://www.kmhkreations.com Duncan

    I think that Twitter may get maimed by Google+, but certainly not killed. There are still a lot of teens out there that will continue to use Twitter as a bulk SMS system, that does not use up minutes. For me from a business standpoint, Google+ has just become another channel to share information to another audience. Until the big social networks can trap people with exclusive rights (ever try to order a coke at Taco Bell?) they will all have their place and never die out.

  • http://www.platinumlynx.net Chas

    A more important question is, how will this affect my Linkedin Stock?

  • Kenny

    I think Google is a threat to everything!

  • http://www.trafficconnection.com Louis

    I just started adding +1 buttons to my blogs. I can’t see how it would kill twitter.

    • http://www.go-jigsaws.com Grey Olltwit

      Google+ is not +1 but when I first see the + I automatically have to think twice about which one is being talked about so you’ve raised a good point. Is this a poor choice of name for Google’s new social network attempt? Should they have made a better differentiation between the +1 button and Google+ ?

  • Sam

    Come on Chris. How can you ask that question with a straight face? :-) Google + is a threat to nobody. It will disappear in less than 2 years due to “didn’t receive the interest we expected”.

    Twitter is here to stay. It’s in people’s dna. We don’t need another Twitter. Google is good for nothing anyway. They just don’t know how to do anything right. If they buy Twitter, that’s a different set of $20 dollar bills…

    • Chris

      They don’t know how to do anything right? Really?

      • Sam

        Yes really. They got lucky with search because there was nothing worth it back then. They have a 99.9% failure history. If they don’t buy it, it rarely succeeds.

  • Sam

    How is Groupon clone, the Groupon killer from Google, Chris? They must be writing the obituary now.

  • http://www.aboutweb.eu/ About Web

    I will still be using Twitter.
    People who gave up on twitter to move to Google+, were thinking like this: If I want to rank on google, I go with Google+.

  • http://www.jiletlitelfiyati.com Jiletli Tel

    still at the early stages to decide how google+ will evolve.
    First there was an opinion that it was a competitor of facebook now it will kill twitter. We have to wait and see how users will take advantage of it rather than decide the competitive edge.
    thanks for the post

  • http://www.prismatic-app.com Paul

    The fact that you can follow people on G+ without having to send a friend request – that’s a fundamental way in which G+ aligns closely with Twitter’s use-cases.

  • Erle Carey

    I hope it wont. Whenever anything maims something else it maims someone else. Put another person out of work and when he needs government help it wont be there. I hope there is enough interest for both social media.

  • http://www.go-jigsaws.com Grey Olltwit

    Google+ could well damage twitter in the link sharing area as to Google links on Twitter now don’t seem to carry much weight when it comes to positioning in search results whereas a Google+ share would obviously integrate very nicely and have an effect one would hope.

  • http://www.luxuryhomegate/ Same Zilc

    What Google does exept since grounding of Google to take ideas of one and ideas of the second and implement and make as own system.
    Google will for sure favorite google + in free searches and within sharing or pressinga webmasters to implement google+ on all websites interesting in better position on google who is a monopol now with ca 85% of searches.
    I think by supporting a free market a one serach engnine with 85% of searches is justa s other search engines does not exist. IIts not fault of Google who are the best but simple now search engines geting and already get name google by people .

  • http://www.jadedkittykimiko.com Jaded Kitty Kimiko

    SURE… YEAH RIGHT… Just like Google Wave and Google Buzz replaced anything…….. When will Google stop making new things and just make what they already have better??

  • http://www.trafficpunk.com Ryan

    I think so. Twitter is boring. It can only evolve into what we already have: Facebook and now Google +. A very high % of people who join Twitter abandon their account within the first 90 days and never come back.

  • Ken

    I’m not convinced Google plus will survive even though you noted that people are using it. That’s almost a pointless comment considering the scale and lack of any data. Just saying people are using it, and they also used Twitter in the beginning, means nothing and has no credibility – in my opinion.

    I have used Google plus one time just to see what it was like. After that I thought – no way I’ll do this again. Plus, in true Google fashion, I had to uncheck a box just so my Google profile would not be seen across who knows how many networks. Are they kidding?

    Most people will not want to be bothersd with the hoops Google makes you jump through. Of coures Chrome users will probably be able to drop a big plus without signing in. But I’m not a Chrome user and have no plans of being one.

    Are you pro Google? A Google cheerleader? That’s my impression about you, and I doubt you will publish this post.


  • http://brandselection.blogspot.com/ Don

    Definitely,since google is king bully they’d give competitors a run for their money. They’ve got advantage also coz they got time to brainstorm how to come about. Just look at their +1 – everybody’s cramming to get it into their sites! Google will infuse it also in their adsense ads so that “let everybody know…” I use friendster before facebook but now its been years and i still haven’t opened latter account. i dont find twitter that useful, got lots of followers but our sales don’t convert,lots of bot users,tweets dont appear very powerful on search engines,google might turn the tide

  • http://www.sebastyne.com Sebastyn

    The advantage with Google+ is the same as with Twitter – you can “follow” anyone you find interesting without a mutual agreement. Google+ has a trump card over Twitter with circles, that make it possible to use one account for all interest groups (I personally have at least 5 different Twitter accounts for this use, and it’s annoying) including your friends and family. That means no different “business” approach is required as you can pin point each message to those who are interested. In addition Google+ isn’t limited to short messages like Twitter, which, in my opinion makes it more interesting. Twitter doesn’t suit me very well, I use it, but not very efficiently. I think Twitter does have more to worry about than Facebook, that at least so far has a definite trump card card over Google+: Groups. (Pages I can, personally, well live without.)

  • Joe P

    Wallstreet is doing a pump and dump on GOOG. Wise people take note.

  • Dhaval

    All I say is “Google is back in Social Networking with saying “”WHO’s your daddy, NOW “”..

    G+ has its own mixture of FB & Twitter with innovative circles that helps to share and make groups well maged. Also, with inclusion of picasa & multi Video chat enable users to spend more time on G+, rather than going to flickr.

  • http://www.treeshore.com kumar

    May be Google+ a serious threat to twitter compared to facebook because it reached well in a short span of time. and Google +1 button’s importance may increase more compared to facebook‘s like button.

  • http://www.propdata.net Robert

    Getting my mother onto Facebook was a big enough step, explaining that she needs a Google Account to sign up for Google+ when she already has a Yahoo! email… pointless.

    Google+ has been said to affect rankings so I see it being adopted by marketers, so yeah, could be a hit on Twitter. Interesting times, but think there could be room for all three, but don’t think that they are directly competing with each other for the exact same space. Sure there’s a lot of overlapping space mind you.

  • http://www.khaledscorner.com Khaled

    yes I think Twitter will survive Google+, because Twitter is much simpler and easier than Google+, but I don’t think facebook will survive Google+.

    • http://www.askiyogi.com/ jordanstella

      Google+ & twitter are two different platforms for social networking. Google+ has many more features than twitter. Twitter is a microblogging site which publish your tweet upto 140 characters ( world knows this thing) and lack of videos upload, classification of friends, direct group video chat good features are missing from Twitter & Facebook both.

      Best Regards

      Computer Support Forum

  • http://www.rockingfunmusic.com Kellie Levans @kidkel69

    Being a social network guru web-wide….and knowing and networking with millions, I believe most of us like to be apart of all the popular web development.We use Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus….for all diffent purposes.Google Plus is imperative for my YOUTUBE sites, where as Twitter is best for my feeds and Izea platforms.Facebook is plain fun, and the best place to grow the network…PEACE OUT
    -Kellie Levans-
    Milwaukee Rock Music Examiner

    • http://www.absolutewebworks.com/ Absolute Webworks

      Can you share how you are using Google+ for your YouTube sites? I’m not clear what it is you are doing.


  • http://www.kentanzasafaris.com Rosemary

    I think google+ is not a threat to Twitter.because it is someone’sdecision whether to twit or google.

  • http://www.kadikoydemirdokumservis.com malbo

    kadıköy demirdöküm kombi servisi

  • http://www.absolutewebworks.com/ Absolute Webworks

    Small businesses that adopt whatever Google has to offer stand to benefit more in regards to their online presence. If using Google+ means that my website has more potential to get more traffic, I will implement Google+.

  • http://www.twitmeon.com Ricky

    It’s really scary how this social media are controlling our way of life online and off line.

  • http://www.hedgehogdigital.co.uk/ SEO Bedford

    To early to tell given the failure rate of Google social ventures of the past years. But it sure is looking strong and Google seems to have learned from its mistakes and adjusted Google+ to compete and gain some market share on Twitter and Facebook. I think Google+ is here to stay, even though I didn’t get a chance to really spend time with it, got my invitation and now I’m slowly digging into it, so far so good!

  • http://www.telecoteco.com karrero

    Yes I think

  • http://www.palotoatoursperu.com/ Shomara

    and knowing and networking with millions,

  • https://www.accounting-guru.net/features.html cloud billing software

    Your post has given very useful information, keep publishing the same information like this always.

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