Why Google+ Will Dominate Facebook
While many Internet marketers today scoff at the question “When will Google+ Dominate Facebook” before you laugh it off, just remember that back in 2005, when there was those marketers who believed in Facebook dared to ask the question, when will Facebook become bigger than MySpace?
Unless you live in a cave or the 15% of the world without electricity, you know by now that Facebook launched its IPO (Initial Public Offering) this past Friday. The stock originally sold for $38 a share. With 2.14B shares now outstanding, that gives a market capitalization of just $66.28B. While this seems like a large number for a company that was launched in February 2004, it falls well short of the $100B thrown around by Internet industry analysts and the traditional media.
Facebook IPO – Welcome on NASDAQ Display NYC
With over 950 million users and continuing to grow, its hard to argue that Facebook dominates not only the social landscape, but time spent online in general.
Now let’s look at some statistics to put things in perspective:
The Facebook Numbers:
- Facebook is the largest social network with an estimated 950 million users
- Facebook delivered over 1 in 4 ads (27.9%) of display impressions in 2011 (Source: comScore Digital Trends – 2012)
- Facebook users on average spend 423 minutes per month on Facebook, the most engaging of all the social networks, tumblr was 2nd at 151 and Pinterest was third at 80 minutes. Google+ clocked in at only 5 minutes, dwarfed by Facebook user engagement (Source: comScore Media Matrix, Dec 2011).
- In 2011, Facebook generated $3.7B in revenue.
- While Facebook revenue grew 88% from a year earlier, the figures it released were lighter than some had expected.
- One widely cited outside estimate from research firm eMarketer pegged Facebook’s revenue for 2011 at $4.27 billion.
This roughly .5B miss from expectations might explain some of the lack luster performance of the first two days of trading the new Facebook issue. Let’s see what happens when the market gets flooded with stock from insider trades after the 90 day lock up period expires.
Facebook stock price at market close on 22 May 2012
So how can Google+ be positioned to overtake Facebook you ask, with just over 10% of the current user base of Facebook and slightly over 1% of the engagement?
The Google Numbers:
- Google.com is #1 global site according to alexa.com (Source: www.alexa.com/topsites) where Facebook.com is #2)
- Google 2011 revenue was 37.905 B (Source: http://investor.google.com/financial/tables.html) which represents 29% YoY (Year over Year) growth rate from 2010
- Google Chrome just became the number one browser. After years of slowly chipping away Internet Explorer’s market share, Chrome took the lead with 32.76 percent share, while IE dipped to 31.94 percent. (Source: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-weekly-201120-201220 )
- Android dominates the mobile OS market share reach over 50% share of the smartphone OS market in Feb, 2012 (Source: comScore ebruary_2012_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share)
- Google dominates search with over 2/3 of the US search market (Source: Compete.com Blog)
- Google+ impacts search in profound ways (Search Plus Your World)
- Google has the reach to grow user base as evidenced in their growing from 0 to over 100 million users in less than 1 year (Source: http://investor.google.com/corporate/2012/ceo-letter.html)
- Google has 350M Gmail users. All of them have a Google+ profile whether they know it or not
- YouTube has over 800 million monthly users uploading over an hour of video per second. All of them have a Google+ profiles though many are not aware or active Google+ users
Then there is that little thing called users experience. Google+ provides it users with:
- The ability to edit posts after posting them (a long-time gripe for facebook users who cannot edit posts once posted)
- Hangouts which are impromptu video conferences for up to 10 participants (thanks to Skype acquisition and integration); Facebook video is limited to one on one video chats.
- Ability to graphically organize users into circles which does not require the relationship to be reciprocal
- The ability to reach more of your contacts whereas on Facebook, with Edgerank, only an estimated 3-7% of your friends have the opportunity to see a given post where on Google+, 100% of users you share content with have the opportunity to see.
It is my strong belief that Google+ will overtake Facebook in the next several years due to a number of factors include enhanced user experience and robust distribution channels for both wired Internet users (Chrome) and wireless Internet users (Android). Google+ is now shipping native on Samsung devices and you can imagine Motorola is coming soon due to Google’s recent acquisition of the mobile equipment manufacturer.
To quote one of my marketing idols, Guy Kawasaki, from his recent, self-published book What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us,
“As my mother used to say, some things need to be believed to be seen.”
So while many Internet marketers today scoff at the question When will Google+ Dominate Facebook, just remember that back in 2005, when there was those who believed in Facebook and dared to ask the question, when will Facebook become bigger than MySpace?;-)
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