A new survey has revealed Google's one year old social networking site to be more popular than Facebook with consumers more satisfied with their service. That's despite Facebook being the bigger social media.
According to the research by Foresee, Google Plus has happier customers than its giant competitor with a notable satisfaction rating of 78 out of 100.
Launched last year, Google Plus became the first ever 'successful' social network by the search engine following two big flops with Google Buzz and Google Wave. Google Plus also happens to be the default app on Google's mobile platform, Android - which is something they've happened to get right. Because when you look at Facebook's mobile apps for Android and iPhone - customers are always complaining about them. I don't know about you but Facebook on my own iPhone isn't great, as it lacks all the features found on the native web browser site.
But to say that Google Plus is more popular than Facebook? I'm not so sure about that. Particularly when you look further into the facts and find that although the service is growing in users, it's failing to get their engagement. This means people are signed up to Google Plus but they're not actually using it. Think about it - are you on Google Plus? Yes. Do you use it? No.
But is Google Plus something we can compare with Facebook? Is Google Plus more than just a social network trying to be like Facebook? It's clear that the world's largest search engine is hugely aware of the importance of 'social' and how they must certainly include social in their products if they're going to stay on top. But I think Google simply wanted to know more about us - our connections, our interests, our likes... So it is able to better serve us.
Think about it, Google Plus is part of a bigger framework and it's using our shared data to enhance its products. For example, open up your Gmail account and you'll notice you can integrate 'Circles', providing you with all the emails from different circle groups... i.e. if I just want to see 'Family' emails, I can - quicky and easily. This is pretty darn clever, in my humble opinion.
Speaking of Google's social push, CEO Larry Page was quoted saying: "Google+ is about much more than the individual features theselves. It's also about building a meaningful relationship with users so that we can dramatically improve the services we offer... Understanding who people are, what they care about, and the other people that matter to them is crucial if we are to give users what they need, when they need it."
That quote just about explains why Google Plus never intended to compete with Facebook. After all, Facebook is about helping you 'connect and share with the people in your life'. Google Plus, on the other hand, just wants to understand more about you so it can improve its existing products and build new ones. Interesting stuff.
So in answer to the big question - is Google Plus more popular than Facebook? It's difficult to compare the two, as both are heading towards different goals. In terms of social networks, Facebook wins hands down. But Google as a whole certainly has more staying power - especially if it can master the social network as well as improving its range of services. It has a mountain to climb if it's going to beat Facebook but essentially, I'm not so sure that's its ultimate goal.
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