Whether or not this actually happens has yet to be determined, and, in fact, it probably won’t be for some time yet, but there’s a growing meme about Facebook becoming MySpace, thanks to the influence of Google+. In fact, a number of publications are writing articles about this very topic. None, however, have captured the idea quite like Matthew Inman, otherwise known as the creator of the brilliant Oatmeal web comic.
Inman’s latest creation is about as awesome an satirical image can be, and it captures the whole “Facebook is the next MySpace” angle completely. In fact, articles haven’t been written about the subject yet that are as articulate as the Oatmeal’s “FaceSpace” page. Instead of giving you the entire image, there’s only going to be a snippet, but that alone will be enough to capture the mood:
Click to enlarge
It’s important that you see the rest of Inman’s “FaceSpace” creation, if, for nothing else, the sparkly gifs and the wall comments. If you only view our snippet, you’re only cheating yourself. There’s also an awesome video that tries to defend Facebook, but in the end, Google+ becomes the more logical choice — well, something you can’t fight — at least for Epipheo Studios, the video’s creator:
Is that where Facebook loses? The fact that Google can integrate all of its products into Google+? Facebook, while ubiquitous, doesn’t have anything besides its platform. While there is a messaging service, the reception has been paltry, especially when compared to Gmail. There is no Facebook YouTube, either. Sure, they have similar services, but they fail when it comes to user comparisons. Consider chat. Gchat is a welcomed addition to Google+ because it functions just like it does in Gmail. It doesn’t take up portions of your screen and it’s usually only noticeable if you want to use it.
Meanwhile, Facebook chat has been beaten around the eyes and ears, ever since the update took hold, anyway. An example, courtesy of Hejibits.com:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember witty web comics trashing Google’s chat system.
Web comics and videos are not the only place the “MySpaceing of Facebook” is available. The mainstream media is at it as well. Just ask the Washington Post and Fox News. While both are speculation-filled articles, there is a portion of Fox News that is not hyperbole:
The second point is a lesson about social behavior. Switching from one network to another may just be an inevitable part of our social habits. Every once in a while, we simply need a change. No one can eat the same meal every day, and we can’t visit the same bar or coffee shop every day without getting bored. Some folks have been on Facebook for nearly 7 years; that’s a long time to be hanging out at the same watering hole. And what is it they say about the 7-year itch?
Does that mean in seven years, people will abandon Google+ for the next big thing in social media? Considering the roller coaster-like lifespan of Friendster and MySpace, it’s certainly worth considering.
And then there’s the PC Magazine survey Brent Csutoras pointed out. The title — 50 Percent Will Abandon Facebook for Google+, Poll Finds — says it all. Granted, surveys like these are voluntary response based, meaning the bias is awfully high. Nevertheless, there’s either a lot of PC Magazine readers who are going to leave Facebook for Google+ (3091 out of 6237 respondents).
The question is, at least to me, is whether or not Facebook can survive these defections? Until Google+ is embraced by the general public, and businesses start steering their potential traffic to G+ instead of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg’s creation remains incredibly viable. That being said, it wouldn’t be surprising if Zuckerberg cashed out while the getting is still profitable.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Facebook or MySpace, for that matter. Google has time on its hands with G+, and the integration of all its products — YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, Gchat, Google Reader — there’s a good chance it will succeed at a substantially faster rate than its predecessors. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.