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.
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.
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