Facebook and rival Google+ both continue to struggle, but in different ways.
Facebook can still say, “it’s good to be the king,” but more and more news reports have negative information about Facebook, such as the recent report from The Wall Street Journal that Facebook appears to be experiencing far less rates of growth than it did even a year ago. With 900 million members – yet, no one knows how many of those members are consistent Facebook users, and, therefore legitimate targets for advertisers – Facebook dominates in sheer size for social networking sites.
Google+ is looking to eat into some of Facebook’s territory and is heavily promoting its own social networking capabilities and offerings.
But, The Wall Street Journal reported in June 15, 2012 Google+ has lost two big makers of online games which are diminishing their roles on the site.
The Journal reports Electronic Arts, Inc.’s PopCap Division and Germany-based Wooga GmbH both said they are pulling several games from Google+ as it is attempting to create an alternative gaming hub for rival Facebook.
The game makers say they still consider Google+ a viable gaming partner, but they are “redeploying resources” away from Google+.
Well, the passengers of the Titanic redeployed assets away from the sinking ship, too, as they rowed away in the too few lifeboats available at the time.
What we are seeing is two financially strong giants pulling and tugging at each other in a gigantic game of King of the Hill, each trying to push the other away, and vendors and suppliers looking on and trying to make loyalty decisions.
This battle is likely to go on for a while, considering the high financial stakes at risk. Beyond bragging rights, both Google and Facebook want to be able to tell advertisers and users they are the best and the brightest, and deserve attention and revenues.
While most users of both Facebook and Google+ don’t think twice about who actually pays for all of the services and games provided for free, the management teams at both companies constantly have that on their collective minds.
As we see more and more of the Internet inch away from being offered for free, and companies such as the wildly successful YouTube talking out loud about some beginning towards subscriptions services, both Facebook and Google+ need the membership/participation numbers to be good so they can eventually move in that direction, too. Google+ is already making noises about some services no longer being free; Facebook can’t be far behind.
We can only hope Facebook will have better advice about moving its services into the paid arena than it did for its botched initial public offering, which is still popping up in the financial news headlines weeks after the IPO.
Google+ and Facebook are still finding their way in the corporate world. The interesting part is just beginning as the full battle between the two will be joined with great gusto by each side.