There has been a great deal of talk about whether Facebook should be scared of Google+, whether Google+ is the next Facebook, etc. etc. etc. Facebook has in fact shown some signs of concern, though Google+ is far from replacing Facebook for the majority of users, at least at this early point in the service’s existence.
Still, it is interesting that hundreds of Facebook users have Google+ accounts. Are they simply checking out the competition? Just seeing what all the fuss is about? Do they really like it and use it frequently? It probably just depends on the user.
It’s not exactly unheard of for staffers of one web service to use a competing web service. We’ve seen plenty of Facebookers on Twitter, plenty of Twitterers on Facebook, Googlers on both, etc. Most of them are probably on LinkedIn as well. Is it a big deal that Facebook people are using Google+? Even Mark Zuckerberg himself has a profile. No it’s not that big a deal.
It is, however, interesting to observe how the people running the world’s largest social network are interacting with the new kid on the block from an existing and very large competitor.
That hasn’t stopped many of his employees from sharing, however.
Some are using it as a promotional tool. For example, Facebook Journalist Program Manager Vadim Lavrusik posted, “As an educator and Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager, I’ve been thinking about how Facebook as a reporting tool fits into the journalism curricula. So I’ve put together a document titled “Facebook + Journalism 101″ that other professors can use to integrate into their syllabi.”
He then links to the document.
Facebook’s Blake Ross has used Google+ to encourage others to add a colleague to their circles. This was shared by Pedram Keyani, who also used Google+ to link to an article about how Google+ handles your data (“outing the fox in the henhouse” apparently), and note that Tom Anderson (of your-first-friend-on-MySpace fame) is blowing up his stream. “If Google isn’t paying him yet, they should,” he said, adding a smiley face.
One person responded, “That’s the good thing about Google+, no poking.”
Facebook’s Rob Goodlatte used it to ask about tourist attractions in the Bay area.
Facebook’s Sam Lessin used it to say that he was with Sergey Brin. Now that’s interesting. No follow up details unfortunately.
Facebook’s Ankur Pansari wrote, “Dear creepy Google Plus followers, please identify yourselves! How did you find my profile?”
Facebook’s Cameron Marlow wrote, “I just unlinked my Facebook account from G+ since I was seeing an increase in random friend requests. I guess this is a sign that these two worlds don’t really mix well.”
Facebook’s Nick Schrock wrote, “I’ve been debating what to do with all my google+ peeps who have me in circles. I think y’all should fan the Brogramming page on facebook. If you want to know what you are getting into read this quora answer: http://b.qr.ae/o1i7ss
It’s clear that Google+ is just getting started, and while unique visitors and time spent on site were down (at least in the U.S.), it still shows a great deal of promise as a legitimate entry into the social media space. It will be interesting to see if a significant number of Facebook employees sticks around for the long haul.