The Growing Pains of Google+

by Matt Klassen on July 25, 2011

It was just over three weeks ago when Google first rolled out its newest social networking feature, Google+, and if initial site traffic numbers are indicative of the popularity of the social networking service we may be seeing the start of the an all out battle with Facebook for total web dominance.

You see, while social networking may seem to some to be simply an add-on to our technological existence, it’s becoming increasingly clear that social media has already become the driving force behind most people’s entire Web experience, meaning that whoever controls the social network, controls the Internet.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, its clear that Google+ has a lot of growing to do, and with news that Google is looking to add a social gaming feature to its social network it’ll be interesting to see if the search engine giant has learned to avoid the privacy pitfalls that have befallen its Facebook rival.

With some 20 million visitors checking in to  Google+ in just over three weeks, according to ComScore, (with actual user numbers estimated to be about half that) I don’t think Google executives could have dreamt up a better start to the company’s first major foray into Facebook’s rigorously  defended territory.

Although initial numbers show little in the way of continued user interest, if Google can find a way to beat Facebook at its own game—providing users with interesting social gaming options, communication options, and interaction options all wit increased ease of use—we may have just witnessed the beginning of the two horse race for control of the Internet for the foreseeable future.

But what does the future hold for Google+? That all depends on how it handles the delicate issue of privacy, especially as it relates to third party companies. With Google announces that it will soon unveil a social gaming feature for Google+, it may in fact be an early make-or-break-it time for the new social networking site.

If Google can demonstrate that it is able to reign in the activities of its third party developers and keep its user’s information safe, the search engine giant may actually have a leg up on Facebook, a company that has allowed its symbiotic relationship with third party developers to get out of control. If users feel safe, if the site is easy to use, Facebook may actually have a fight on its hands.

Now don’t think that Facebook is going to take any of this lying down though, as news is that one of Google+’s initial users is Mark Zuckerberg himself, no doubt Facebook’s own way of spying out in the open, allowing Facebook to see what its competitors are doing in order to build or copy some sort of response…heck, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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