Facebook vs. Google+: A Social Network Throwdown

By Erin Harrison July 20, 2011

“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

For anyone who has seen the move “The Social Network,” that tagline perfectly described Mark Zuckerberg’s journey and entrepreneurial ascent as the founder and CEO of Facebook, which began in his Harvard dorm room some eight years ago.

After Facebook, along came Twitter and LinkedIn, among others. So far, social networking sites have been able to co-exist in competitive environment, each fulfilling their own need, but the launch of Google+ has threatened the longevity of the ultra-popular Facebook network, which recently approached 700 million users.

But LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner recently declared that he doesn’t see any way for Facebook and Google+ to coexist, and predicts newcomer Google+ “will come out on the losing end of the battle,” a recent Business Insider article said.

Acknowledging he has a biased view on social networking, Weiner said LinkedIn “will always be relevant, which certainly can be disputed,” the report said. LinkedIn, a professional networking site, boasts about 100 million users.

Weiner’s observations of the functions of social networks were broken down into three categories: “microcasting” all the latest goings-on in your life (Twitter), managing your professional life (LinkedIn), and connecting with friends and family, Business Insider said.

According to Weiner, only one social network is needed to fulfill the latter, which means Facebook will duke it out with Google+, and only one can come out on top in the throwdown.

“You introduce Google+, where am I going to spend that next minute or hour of my discretionary time? I have no more time,” Weiner was quoted as saying in the Business Insider report.

Most users have a tendency to use one social platform or another, but not multiple platforms at one time. However, the 700 million users-strong Facebook has recently shown a decline in US traffic, and industry analysts point out it is still possible Google+ could take down the social network giant.

While the United States still ranks as its fastest growth audience, Facebook traffic in the US declined significantly last month, according to figures released by Inside Facebook, a site dedicated to tracking the social networking site for developers and marketers.

Facebook traffic in the US dropped off by nearly 6 million users, according to statistics from Inside Facebook Gold analytics service, the research arm of Inside Facebook, which gets its information from Facebook’s advertising tool, TechZone reported last month.

“And in a recent customer satisfaction survey from ForeSee Results, Facebook ranked last among all website in the Social Media category, which included other sites like YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, and Myspace,” TG Daily reported.

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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