Does Google+ Target Facebook or Twitter?

by Ben Bajarin   |   July 11th, 2011

After spending some time using Google+ and reading many of the articles and opinions on the service, I came across two pieces that I thought were worth pointing out. I am still in the process of forming my own opinion on Google+ and what the benefit is of the service so in the meantime I want to highlight two thoughtful commentaries.

The first is from Tristan Louis from Business Insider who brings up the question and explores whether Google+ is targeting Twitter or Facebook. This is a great question although it’s much to early to have clarity on Google’s strategy other then they are a services company so investing in services is what they do. From my own time using the service I can see elements of both Twitter and Facebook.

Google obviously feels that services which fill a social need are a key component of how we will use and interact on the web. Hopefully Google+ continues to innovate in this direction. However as of now its not clear what the key value proposition is for mainstream consumers.

To address that question Joshua Gans who holds the Skoll Chair in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School of Management (University of Toronto) wrote an interesting commentary for the Harvard Business Review blog. He focuses on addressing the question of what problem Google+ solves in the market place. The thing I love about HBR authors is how their commentary highlights fundamental business principles. This one being that in order to have a successful product or service it needs to add value by solving a problem.

His point is primarily that its unclear which problem Google+ is solving. For consumers to switch or even start using one service over another there needs to be a compelling differentiating benefit for the new service. Regarding Google+ that element is still unclear.

Keep in mind any commentary or opinion on Google+ at this point is purely that a commentary or opinion. Google, for obvious reasons, is highly vested to flesh this out. They want to own Internet eyeballs for as long as possible on any given day or time.

Social is a key part of how we will use the web in the future and Google wants a part of that. Google moves extremely fast and in six month’s what Google+ is could be completely different than it is currently.

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research. He is a husband, father, gadget enthusiast, trend spotter, early adopter and hobby farmer. Full Bio
  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    It’s obviously way too early to tell, but my first-off opinion of Google+ is a “me too” re: FaceBook. The main reason I wonder if it might work is because so many of us already use *other* Google services (in my case, gmail, analytics and, until recently, Blogger). As soon as I sign into any one of those applications I see any G+ activity as well, and that single-portal/single sign-on aspect is the one thing IMO that may already win some eyeballs over against FB.

    Is that enough to build a service? Dunno. But it gives them a space in which to innovate and convince me to love them, and that’s a decent first step.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com Dan Martin

    Sorta on-topic, but did you see the feature on Reid Hoffman in the Wall Street Journal last month? He’s quoted as saying Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins. Facebook is ego. Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed.

    Offers an interesting perspective at least…