Resolution Media: Rival Google+ Gaining On Facebook
Is Facebook setting itself up for a big fall? Omnicom's Resolution Media thinks so.
An internal memo written by agency strategist Aaron Friedman about the social media network says that Google+ is leaving Facebook in the dust when it comes to innovative new user features. The main problem, Friedman believes, is complacency. But Google could change that, he said, by providing competition.
"Google+ has an improved design with muting and editing [capability for] posts," the memo states. "It seems so simple and yet, multiple redesigns and countless additions later, it still continues to be a hassle to edit a [Facebook] post if I mistype a word. One little typo and it calls for a completely new post. Deleting from a mobile device isn't even an option."
On the lack of mutability, Friedman, wrote: "And how about commenting on a friend's post? It's wonderful that I am able to do that, but after the 24th email alerting me of a new comment for that thread, it gets pretty old, and frankly makes me think twice before I ever post anything. If only someone would come out with a feature to mute the post... oh wait Google+ did!"
"Facebook probably feels like they are in a very comfortable spot right now," Friedman said in a follow-up interview. "And if they don't wake up they are going to fall behind." <
The rapid ascent of Google+ could be just the jolt that Facebook needs to avoid that, said Friedman. "Google+ is growing very rapidly and will be a very strong competitor at the rate they are going," he said.
In his memo, Friedman also took the social network to task for having a chat feature that he described as "archaic, poorly built and overall seems slopped together." While he credits Facebook for "moving in the right direction" with a Skype integration, he states that "G Chat definitely has the upper hand with this feature."
That said, Friedman still believes that Facebook is an effective marketing vehicle. And it remains the dominant player in the space. ComScore reported it had a record 162 million visitors to its U.S. site in July, compared to a little over 5 million visitors for Google in the same period.
Still, complacency can be dangerous -- it wasn't that long ago that MySpace was the biggest player in the space. And then Facebook arrived on the scene.
"They really need to keep focused and fix the user experience or risk losing customers to Google," said Friedman. He concludes his memo by noting that while Facebook may remain the leader in the space, "I don't think it will be an easy road." The competition could begin to really heat up later this year when Google+ is expected to start selling ads.
A Facebook spokeswoman did not respond to a request seeking comment.