Last week we introduced you to Google+, which launched a trial period on June 28th. The service has so far been available only to a limited group of people. Google extended early invitations to fellow social media founders Tom Anderson (former Myspace President) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO). Both have created Google+ profiles in order to scope out the new service. So what do these media moguls think of Google’s latest bid for a slice of the social-media market?
Tom Anderson gives the thumbs-up
You probably remember Tom as your very first Myspace friend, grinning against the background of a scribbled whiteboard. Anderson co-founded Myspace in 2003 with Chris DeWolfe and it quickly became the most-visited social networking site in the world. However, Facebook’s swift ascent a couple years later rendered Myspace all but obsolete and the company was eventually sold off to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake.
Anderson, who is "enjoying being retired" does not begrudge Facebook’s success (at least publicly), or Google’s attempts at upping the social-media ante. In a Google+ thread he discusses his original vision for Myspace and the ways that Google+ realizes what he did not:
My original vision for MS was that everything got better when it was social ... quickly I saw that it’s really hard to layer in social to features after the fact ... But Google+ really seems to be primed to make good on that original premise–that everything gets better when its social. And unlike FB, Twitter, or anyone else, Google already has the most advanced set of products ... Does that kill FB/Twitter? Who cares? I’d use all 3, but more importantly, I’ll be using Google products I never used, or use them in new, better ways I never used them before.
Zuckerberg Preps for Battle
"Does that kill FB/Twitter? Who cares?"
Mark Zuckerberg, for one, and he's assembling his forces. This guy certainly knows how to draw a virtual crowd, even within competitors’ circles. According to The New York Times, the Facebook CEO had amassed about 35,000 followers on Google+ as of Tuesday evening, more than anyone on the site, including Google chief executive Larry Page. Was this a concerted effort on the part of Zuckerberg to send a message to his competitors... or is he just super popular?
Unlike Anderson, Mark hasn’t posted any thoughts on the Google platform. However, he did release a video yesterday on Facebook Live announcing his own upcoming projects, which include:
- Facebook Group Chat
- New Chat Design
- Facebook Buddy Lists
- Skype-integrated Video Calling
The plan to implement group chat and Skype calling capabilities seems to be a repsonse to one of Google+’s most promising features, Hangouts, which Lifehacker calls “the best free group video chat we’ve seen.”
During the conference, Zuckerberg vowed to outsource as much app development as possible to “independent entrepreneurs and companies who are gonna be best in class at building those things,” a different strategy, he said, than companies “who try to do everything themselves.” Independent entrepreneurs Zuckerberg portends, “will always do better than a company who is trying to do a million things.”
Analysts have yet to determine how Google+ will change the face of social media. Tom Anderson sees the potential of Google+ to succeed where Myspace failed. Google, he says, already has the advanced products that other social media innovators are still developing. Mark Zuckerberg, however, appears prepared to defend his turf. Zuckerberg believes that the ubiquity of the Facebook platform provides the social infrastructure to build upon.
Can these two Internet giants coexist peacefully, and if not, who will win the Social Media Wars!