Google is the Cool Kid Again, and Facebook Starts to Look Like MySpace

It’s amazing how fast perceptions can change. Just a few weeks ago, Google was the search giant that would never get social. And Facebook, despite its now 750 million active users, was still deemed the cool kid on the block. Enter Google+. Now it’s quite the opposite. Google has at least won back the love of the digerati, and Facebook now looks somehow old, like MySpace back in the days when it was still bigger than Facebook, but the then juvenile competitor was quickly catching up. True, Facebook will remain the leading social network for yet some time to come.

It's amazing how fast perceptions can change. Just a few weeks ago, Google was the search giant that would never get social. And Facebook, despite its now 750 million active users, was still deemed the cool kid on the block.

Enter Google+. Now it's quite the opposite. Google has at least won back the love of the digerati, and Facebook now looks somehow old, like MySpace back in the days when it was still bigger than Facebook, but the then juvenile competitor was quickly catching up.

True, Facebook will remain the leading social network for yet some time to come. But Google now plays the role of the innovator, pressing Facebook to increase speed again. With 750 million users, basically everyone on the Internet and their uncle is on Facebook these days.

That makes it harder to innovate. And now, when the crowd of early adopters and net advocates seems to be ready to leave Facebook and embrace their new shiny toy, Facebock is left with an audience that is increasingly resistant to change.

Google is pulling a Chrome again. With the Chrome browser, Google basically launched a showcase of a modern browser, making Firefox looking outdated and thus raising the bar for the competition. Three years later, the browser market looks a lot healthier than before. The overall product quality has increased, and so did browser performance.

The successful launch of Google+ shows that the Social Web (or Web 2.0 as it was called in the early days) is still a vibrant mega-trend. Facebook hasn't won the game, like MySpace a few years ago. It may well be that Google+ pushes Facebook to open up its walled garden, just for the sake of staying in business when users demand more openness. Google just added a whole lot of competition to the Social Web, and that’s good for everyone, first of all the consumer.