10+ Reasons Why Facebook Has Nothing to Fear from Google+

Joel Cheesman, the founder of start-up Mobsicle, a mobile solutions provider for the restaurant industry, will be joining top HR thought leaders, recruitment marketers and talent managers this upcoming Friday, 8-26 at TalentNet Live! (#TNL), an HR and recruiting event hosted by PepsiCo at FritoLay’s Plano, TX headquarters (click here for a full agenda and #TNL registration information).

While Cheesman’s session will focus on tips and tricks for “Amping Up Your Facebook presence,” here’s why he thinks that when it comes to Google+, amping up your employment or personal brands just isn’t worth the hype:

In 2006, I wrote a blog post entitled, “10 Reasons MySpace is Better than Facebook.” You can imagine the verbal abuse that rained down on me, compliments of the Digerati and devoted Millennials.

Amusingly, I had planned for a follow-up post outlining why Facebook was better than MySpace, but why poop on a hater comment party?

Five years hence, inspiration for a similar article entitled, oh, something like, “10 Reasons Facebook is Better than Google+” seemed too good to pass-up. Such an article, oddly enough, seems a bit reversed. If you listen to the universe of blogging heads, Facebook’s tombstone is already being chiseled out somewhere in Palo Alto.

In “Why yo momma won’t use Google+ (and why that thrills me to no end),” geek elite Robert Scoble gushed, “Come on now, we geeks and early adopters and social media gurus need a place to talk free of folks who think Justin Bieber is the second coming of Christ.”

PC World gives us 9 reasons to switch and even cartoonists are getting in on the Face-bashing .

Well, consider me one who has learned his lesson about going against the guy in the hoodie and the ‘f – you flip-flops.’ Granted, full disclosure,I love Google (and I’m not just saying that in fear they may blacklist my blog or something) but Try No. 3 (or 4) at social media isn’t going to make a dent in Facebook. Here’s why:

  1. Next stop, 1 billion. Facebook is on pace to hit a billion worldwide members soon. Half of those come back daily and spend a lot of time there. Google bragging about tens of millions joining their new venture is a long way off from mattering at this point. And I’m guessing many of those joined for the mere fact that it’s Google+. Ooooh. Time will tell if those joiners actually use it regularly.
  2. Facebook doesn’t suck. How many people do you know dislike the experience Facebook delivers? I mean, dislike it so much they’re ready to jump ship? Yeah, I don’t know any either. MySpace, in contrast, really started suckin’ in comparison to the experience you could get on Facebook.
  3. Guilt free. People forget being a MySpace user labeled you sorta pervy. As a professional or a parent, being linked to MySpace carried with it a certain level of smuttiness many wanted to run away from. LinkedIn was too stuffy. Facebook was the right mix and it still is. Google+ doesn’t fill some inner desire to join something more appropriate.
  4. Circles schmircles. There seems to be a consensus that Google Circles, or the ability to put friends into distinct segments like “Friends” or “Acquaintances,” for example, is a better we to filter through the flood of content currently on Facebook. Though they already enable users to categorize people, Facebook could do a much better job of making it intuitive. I expect Facebook to make a similar functionality available and kill this Google advantage.
  5. Social is over. Facebook won. When I speak around the country and ask what word comes to mind when I say “social,” the immediate answer is Facebook. In a similar fashion, “search” belongs to Google. Replacing current placeholders in the human brain is almost impossible to do. It’s no surprise two of Google’s most popular efforts outside of search are YouTube and Android, separate brands which become easier for the human brain to categorize.
  6. Talent. Not to say Google’s filled with knuckleheads, but Facebook is doing an incredible job of luring the best Silicon Valley has to offer into their ranks. Poaching some of Google top performers has been well documented. And with the company heading toward IPO, the opportunity to get on board early and take a ride on the gravy train is appetizing.
  7. Staying one step ahead. Maybe the strongest reason that Facebook shouldn’t shiver in its flip-flops is the fact that’s it’s moving past social in many ways. It’s the same reason Google had nothing to fear from Bing – it was moving well beyond search, which it had already won. Google will be mired in copying Facebook while Facebook is busy moving onto the future. Stuff like enhancing Facebook Connect and Facebook Credits.
  8. Mobile. This one currently goes to Google, but Facebook is keeping it close and moving into some not-so-Googley territory. Android is obviously huge in smartphone land, but people forget 155 million American’s don’t own smartphones. Enter Facebook who has a better understanding of this world. Acquisions of Snaptu and others help represent this understanding. And Facebook’s aggressive moves into HTML5 shows their eye is on the mobile prize..
  9. Picture perfect. Facebook is the king of photo sharing. And people love sharing photos online. People are getting comfortable taking pics with the phone and adding them to their Facebook account. Tagging photos with friends is best-of-class. I just don’t see this changing anytime soon.
  10. Past is prologue. Google doesn’t get social. Orkut, their first attempt at social could’ve been Facebook. It was a cleaner, more intuitive alternative to Friendster and MySpace. And it’s invite-only mechanism made it almost .edu-like exclusive, a la Facebook’s early years. But with the exception of a few countries, it’s a non-entity. Google Buzz came into the world with much, um, buzz and has fizzled in a similar fashion. I expect Plus to have a similar fate.
  11. Focus. Google is taking on so many companies and doing so many things, you can be forgiven missing most of them. They’ve even jumped into remote controlled cars and windmill farms. Facebook does social. That’s more or less it. Things like classifieds, video chat and search are outsourced to best-of-breed solutions or competitively advantageous partners. My guess is they’ll get into more and more things outside of their core competency over time, but their reluctance to go batty over Mars maps gives them an advantage.

There you have it.

Ten reasons, plus one (sorry, couldn’t resist), why Facebook shouldn’t sweat Google+. The ongoing and progressively abrasive battle between Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook for the hearts and attention spans of the world is nothing if not entertaining. Everybody wants a piece, and social media riches are no different (don’t forget Apple’s failed attempt with Ping).

At the end of the day, we, the consumer, will be the biggest winners. However the pie is divided, however, I suspect Facebook will be the clear champion when social’s 800-pound gorilla’s crowned.

Five years ago, I predicted MySpace would be the one-man-standing in social. I was wrong. That won’t happen again. Google strikes out again. I’m right this time. Right?

Monster is proud to support TalentNet Live (#TNL), an event for talent managers and human capital leaders featuring some of the brightest minds and biggest innovations in the HR industry and continuing the conversation – and learning – for practitioners around topics like social media, social recruiting and HR training.

Check MonsterThinking.com all week as we preview some of the ideas and innovations from #TNL track leaders and attendees.


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