What Social Media Site Will Kill Facebook? Google+
It’s easy to dismiss Google’s (GOOG) Google+ as yet another example of Google throwing something at the social media wall to see if it will stick. After all, the company has already launched and buried Google Wave and Google Buzz.
Google+ users may spend mere minutes per month on this social media site compared to the hours that Facebook members spend, but Google+ has seen impressive growth in its user base.
At an October Google+ event, GOOG announced a slew of new features and reported significant improvements in activity. The company said there were now 540 million active Google+ members (Facebook claimed 1.19 billion at that time) who are uploading 1.5 billion photos monthly. Video sharing also increased by a factor of 20.
Google has pushed the advantages of its social media site, positioning it as both a social and professional network. The company has leveraged the dominance of Google search, pointing to Google+ posts and incorporating Google+ hooks into YouTube and its other services.
In other words, Google+ may not have the user engagement rate — or “stickiness” — of Facebook, but it’s gaining. And in a little more than two years, it went from zero users to nearly half the membership of Facebook.
GOOG is huge compared to FB stock ($57 billion in annual revenue compared to $7.87 billion) and if GOOG decided that Google+ as a social media site was a big part of its future and important enough for an all-out assault, it has the resources to make life unpleasant for FB stock holders.