4 Google+ Features Making Facebook Tense

google+ features

A recent Facebook update makes the site look a lot more like Google+. The update in question? Changes to the popular photo viewer feature. This particular update places comments next to photos instead of forcing the user to scroll down to view them, which according to a company representative, helps increase visibility. What we have here is another case of Facebook one-upping the competition. Will Google+ be able to compete if the social giant keeps this up? It’s a tough call, but one that may be possible if Google stays focused on three key areas.

1. New and Unique Features

Google has rolled out a gang of exciting features since releasing Google+ last summer. From optimizing photo tagging functionality to the ability to customize streams, these features have enhanced the platform and made it a worthy contender in the fiercely competitive social space. The one element that Facebook still has not been able to match despite trying is Hangouts, the

video group chat component that accompanied the initial launch. This all good, but in order for Google+ to stay competitive, it must continue to drop new features on a consistent basis.

More importantly, it must deliver functionality that clearly distinguishes it from Facebook

2. Business Users

Back in November of last year, Google+ introduced its long awaited Business Pages, the feature that made it more comparable to Facebook than ever before. The launch of this feature was hailed as a big deal for the simple fact that up until then, brands were forbidden from using the site for marketing purposes at the discretion of Google itself. Google+ could enjoy a sizable advantage over Facebook by taking a small note from LinkedIn and making the platform appealing to brands beyond the new pages. At this point, the only question is whether its previous stance permanently turned off a large number of potential business users.

3. Privacy

In the end, the ability of Google+ to compete with Facebook may lie in its privacy policy. Privacy is a major issue in the social realm, and not even the mighty Facebook has been immune to the backlash that results from introducing changes that make the user community feel uneasy. Google recently announced a major update to its privacy policy, one that will consolidate its dozens of existing policies into a single policy. And while the announcement was met with tons of criticism at first, observers have started to sing a different tune after realizing that the new approach actually has some benefits. With a few tweaks, Google’s privacy policy could prove to be one of its greatest attributes.

Google+ is in a good place right now, but competing with Facebook to the point where it is poised to surpass the social behemoth may be something that never happens. However, that does not mean that it cannot thrive and be a dominant force in the industry.

Image by Cambodia4KidsOrg

Francis Santos is a best practices activist and an advocate for free email marketing and html email. Francis can also be contacted via Twitter.

 

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