It’s on! And I’m sitting in front of my monitor with a smile on my face…
Is Facebook afraid of Google’s shiny network? Is Google trying to ruin Facebook’s party at F8? It feels like this week is “all or nothing” for these two and nobody likes to lose, that’s for sure.
But to be honest with you, I don’t care about industry egos and that kind of stuff. While these guys battle for attention, what I care about is how the end-user gets the juicy benefits of competition. The same competition I was talking about a couple of months ago when I said that Google+ was good for the Facebook user, because they will start seeing their network stepping up to the plate to keep their business.
Looking at all these changes and big announcements flying around, I thought it could be fun to do a quick recap, compare them and share some thoughts. Of course it will be a lot cooler if you also express your thoughts at the end…
First I thought about doing this in a chronological order, you know, as events happened in the last couple of weeks but I decided to go with one item on each side. I hope you like it.
Here we go!
Google+ API Opens
While this might mean nothing to the end-user right now, it’s a big deal. It opens the door for developers all over the world to make awesome ideas happen.
Obviously not a surprise, if anything it’s exciting that it’s finally open.
Facebook New Lists
We talked about this last week so if you are not familiar with its whole functionality you can read it here. To make it short, Facebook created its own “Circles” and named them “Lists”.
This will be rolled out as a transition automatically creating the lists for you and then you will have the option to reorganize.
This sounds like the right approach, the problem is that since this was not part of the core of the network, as it is for Google+, I’m not sure if launching it at this point makes a difference.
While this might seem like something minor, adding the search functionality to Google+ is a feature users have been asking for. Besides, it makes a lot of sense, specially when Google is king of search. Right?
Now you can search for any topic and then filter your results by “Everything”, “People”, “Google+ Posts” and “Sparks”.
This is important. It will most likely point out how terrible Facebook Search (powered by Bing) is. It will not get the attention it deserves, specially in the middle of all the other announcements.
Facebook New Profile Subscribe Button
Facebook launches the new “Subscribe” button for personal profiles. Basically giving you the option of following people without having to friend them. Sounds like Twitter following concept? Hmm…
This is also something we discussed as few days ago here on SocialMouths so all I’m going to point is this: This is optional, when you don’t do something from the early stages and you have 750 million users, everything has to be optional.
Important: If you do decide to add the subscribe button, your subscribers will have access to see the updates you classify as “Public”.
Google+ Mobile Hangouts
This is a major update. “Hangouts”, which was launched on the platform right before Facebook announced its integration with Skype has taken video chats to a whole new level. Now Google is launching its mobile version, including the multi-user capabilities right on your mobile device.
But that’s not all, along with Mobile Hangouts, G+ rolls out “Hangouts On Air” so you can broadcast and integrates Google Docs, screen sharing, sketchpad and makes public the Hangouts API.
Game changer? I think so…
Facebook Redesigns the News Feed
Facebook just rolled out its redesigned News Feed. They just took the liberty to reorganize everything for you. The main point is to display whatever is considered “top stories”. They added a blue corner to indicate this. Then you get “Recent Stories” right below in the order they were published.
Relevant? Well, this type of changes are usually followed by thousands of users resisting the change.
Google+ Opens To The Public
In my personal opinion, it feels like it took a little too long to open and for a while it felt like it was losing its momentum. Of course with this storm of updates is back on everyone’s mouths.
Maybe they were just waiting to open up right before F8… Is this big news, it should. Let’s see how this develops and we continue to see that insane growth we saw earlier this year.
Is There More? What Do You Think?
More Buttons From Facebook
TechCrunch published 2 days ago that one of the things Facebook is preparing to announce on F8 is new buttons. Like we didn’t have enough buttons already… but this is not official yet.
Here is what TC had to say in the post (to make it short), “Facebook users will be able to click Read, Listened, Watched on content in their news feed. And soon, “Want” as well.”
Klout Integrates Google+
This is from a 3rd party and while it doesn’t add to the user experience on the site it certainly adds to the pile of related announcements.
Klout has just finished its Google+ integration and you can now connect it to your list of networks.
F8 – Developer Conference
Right now F8 is probably going on as you read this. F8, as they say on the site, the conference is for developers, entrepreneurs and innovators who are creating a more social web. You can tune in to watch live here or on the F8 Facebook page.
Some of the question I got yesterday on my Facebook Page are about how Pages are going to be affected but there is no word from either side yet on what’s going on with this. This is one of the biggest concerns for entrepreneurs, brands and online marketers. We’ll see what happens.
So Who’s Winning? Or Better Yet… Who’s Offering YOU More?
You will have to answer this for yourself. Hopefully you want to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
I’ll share with you what I think so far. I feel like the biggest updates so far are on Google’s side, while it was losing some momentum already, opening up to the public, search, Hangouts and making its API public certainly has more weight than Facebook’s announcements, however, the biggest social network in the world should have a big surprise to reveal today (Sep 22).
I agree with Ricardo Bueno as he commented last week on this blog that while he’s loving everything about G+, he will continue to be on Facebook since his community are there.
Let’s not forget this, while it feels like Facebook is trying to catch up on technology and features, the biggest catching up to do here is on Google’s side. G+ is still about 700+ million users shy…
Over To You
What side are you on? What are your thoughts on all this craziness going on this week? Where is all this going? Do you think G+ can give Facebook a run for its money now it is open? Wow, that’s a lot of questions, huh?
Finally, here is my G+ Profile if you want to circle me up.