Posted on 02/10/2012. By Pete Otaqui.
Facebook is doomed. I’m not talking about its share price or funding model, I’m talking about use patterns. Facebook is, essentially, a one-trick-pony; it’s only a social network.
Google, on the other hand, is more or less everything. Almost as important as little things like search and video are, in my personal experience, Google Apps. If you’ve ever worked with a team of people where everyone uses Google for documents, spreadsheets, email, instant messaging, etc, etc, and you’ve suddenly found that you can use all the same controls / circles / etc for everything you might have glimpsed just how compelling it can all be. There can be some niggles with multiple accounts, but apparently the engineers are working on that.
When you really buy into the whole Google ecosystem, with Chrome, GMail, Google Apps and Android, you get a lot of benefits. You also give up lot of information about yourself, but that’s a discussion all of its own. All the services tie in and add up to a really compelling experience: search, email, im, office work, videos, music, books, telephone calls, etc, etc all work together. The work involved in this isn’t complete, and the experience has a way to go, but it gets better all the time. More importantly, no one else is in a position to offer anything even remotely so well integrated.
I’d argue that the only company that comes close is Apple – and even they suffer from not having a truly unified experience – no search, obviously, but also not really well integrated email, documents, and IM. Apple also lacks any kind of social network, which Google obviously does have with Plus.
So – about Plus. It’s only downside is that hardly anyone uses it. It suffers not only from “my friends aren’t on there” but also “why would I bother when I already use X other social platforms”. However I see these as short term issues, and that the overall direction is that Google will win, because they are the only ones offering everything.