When performance becomes a problem they run for size. Size has nothing to do with performance it's proven again and again. Yet size matters to the ego, the bigger the better. Success has nothing to do with size either, yet this obsession with size. Google is the latest to add an extra size to add to its sex or is it ex-appeal, considering they don't have anything to boast of for quite some time, their appeal is sagging. After Microsoft's cover up job Microsoft's Underwear costs $8.5 billion it's time for its closest competitor Google to tone up to a Plus with its latest launch Google Plus.
What is Google Plus?
Google plus is the latest attempt of technology giant, Microsoft closest enemy, Google, to take on the social networking scene dominated by Facebook. Google Plus lets its users post photographs, videos, comments and messages (nothing new about that) but also "real world interactions" and "real life sharing" (remember Microsoft's Lync doing something similar even though vaguely).
WWW Evolution and the Deadly Sins
Till men exist on earth so will sin. Facebook got it right. It focuses on one of the deadliest sin of humans - the EGO. The need for approval prompts free content sharing. Users are happy getting approval venting out their creative skills, moods swings, photographs and much more. Facebook is happy getting the best and the probably THE most precise target market demographically, geographically, interest-graphically etc. The perfect happy-happy and win-win picture. Now that's exact what Google doesn't like. Reason is the cash cow of Google - advertising.
Why Facebook is Google's Thorn in the Flesh?
The war saga between Google and Microsoft we all know of. Guess who supplies the monetary assistance to Google for its ammunition to fight the mightiest software company on this planet, Microsoft? It is the advertiser. Google monetizes content through Adsense. The guerrilla attacks on Microsoft by launching free versions of what's cash cow for Microsoft i.e. Operating systems, Word processors and Office tools are all financed by the advertiser.
Everything is good here. No one even came close to Google in terms of advertising. Google literally became an advertising Mogul. Problem is now Facebook is a far far superior platform for advertising. Reason is profiling of users. Based on Geography, Interests, Demographics and the minutest detail no one comes even close to Facebook. "Plus" they have the mass.
Time and again Google has tried to get into the Social networking bandwagon. Orkut is there but comes nowhere close to Facebook. Facebook is literally a hole in Google advertising revenue pocket today. The figures on who is where maybe judged by these comScore figures published today in New York Times. "But Google+ may already be too late. In May, 180 million people visited Google sites, including YouTube, compared with 157.2 million on Facebook, according to comScore. But Facebook users looked at 103 billion pages and spent an average of 375 minutes on the site, while Google users viewed 46.3 billion pages and spent 231 minutes."
The Last Word
Interestingly when Google started and took on Microsoft in areas Microsoft didn't know existed, Google didn't have size. Google in those good old days was just Google. The real sense of being the real Google. It was a non-monopolistic entity then (read my 2 year old story Why Google sucks on its monopolistic designs).
It was innovation combined with driving the Internet mass to a discovery which was unique. Google then had brains that worked. The neuro pathways of Google that time were clear and thoughts travelled at speeds that were unheard of driving products in the market that were truly great. Gmail, Google search, News just to name a few. Probably that's why like it was able to change the rules of the game. Taking advertising to a new level. Creating revenue models where none existed. Taking email to a level no one ever thought was possible. It was not greedy then and probably that's the reason it won the approval of most, the users, the academics, the open source, the "not" open source, and just everyone which Microsoft has still not even able to win.
Microsoft needed a $8.5 billion underwear for its cover up. Google is adding a size to become a Plus now. It will be fun to watch their new antics.
Puneet Mehrotra is a columnist on Business and Technology www.thebusinessedition.com