Do Not Mess With Facebook

Posted: July 6, 2011 by Keith Stone in computers, Facebook, Google, MySpace

MySpace was recently purchased for $35 million by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake (wha???) from News Corp. You may remember that News Corp. paid $580 million for MySpace, however earned a ton of money through an exclusive advertising deal with Google. Now that deal is over and MySpace is hemorrhaging cash because everyone has fled for the greener pastures of Facebook.

MySpace was fun for a while. It was like Bad Kids Facebook. Didn’t get into a good college? It’s MySpace for you. Plus, there were a ton of slutty girls on MySpace. Once Facebook opened the doors to let anyone join, it was all over. That hasn’t stopped Rupert Murdoch from trying to salvage it with a bunch of go-getter managers but the truth is MySpace has gone from the world’s top social networking site to a place where local bands try to plug their music.

Now Google is throwing its hat in the ring again against Facebook. After the failure of Google Buzz, it has decided to launch the similar Google+, which smells a lot like Facebook but emphasizes sharing more directly with your real friends. It will not work. The advantage that Facebook has is that everybody is on it.

Some people enjoy being on 18 different social networking sites that each fill a specific niche. You wouldn’t go to a clothing store, hardware store, and grocery store when there’s a Walmart in your town. Mark Zuckerberg does not want that to happen so he’s on top of it. He’s already replicated several facets from Twitter, Foursquare, and Groupon. Why would anyone want to share a deal with 40 of their friends when they can share it with 500? It’s simply easier to stick with an existing product that you and your friends already use.

To Facebook’s credit, they have been on top of every trend and integrated it on their site. That’s why I don’t understand Google+. It has to bring something markedly different to the table or everybody is going to ignore it. Of course, being used in conjunction with Gmail will enhance the product, but is it really worth Google’s time and money? Pictures are still going to be uploaded on Facebook because that’s where everybody is going to be.

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