Do you think Facebook and Google+ would befriend one another on social sites? Google does a lot of things well; its search engine and paid ad platform are obvious examples. Google has enjoyed a lot of popularity and exposure in this century. Do you need to look something up online? Google it; Wait, ("Google" it?) isn't Google the brand name of the provided search engine, how did we make it into a verb? Google's savvy marketing is one reason.
Popular kids sometimes don't like sharing the playground. In this century, another brand has gained popularity, attracting some playground popularity away from "G," actually eclipsing Google in visitations in 2010, Facebook. Some cohorts may play nice while others would get a little green with envy. If the Google brand did harbor such latter sentiments, maybe it would do something to one-up or "plus one" the competition. Wouldn't it?
According to stats recently released, Google+ has 62 million registered users. A far cry from the 800 million plus using Facebook, but give the new kid on the social block some time to gain traction (a quarter of Google+'s numbers come from December alone). Research predicts Google+ stretching itself to a plus size in the near future (some expect G's social network to break 75 million by mid January).
Right now, Facebook obviously rules as king of the social site playground, but power comes in numbers. What is a social site's biggest asset? A site's participants. As the number of people using Google+ rises, the platform gets more exposure and becomes more useful to consumers, marketers, and brands.
Some tantalizing aspects of Google+
Brand pages are now included in search results. Twitter and Facebook eventually began to cater more toward businesses, offering company-related interface pages and social paid ad opportunities. Brand pages give companies a reason to take part in Google's social platform.
Authors and individuals like Google+ too, especially considering the influence of the rel=author tags. As a blogger, small businessperson, and company representative, one could leverage Google+ and related SERP results to gain more personal and brand-related exposure.
In addition, Google+ gives us more "cowbell" regarding SERP exposure; circles and +1s are visible in the SERPs giving users more opportunities for online exposure.
Ace in the Pocket
In Napoleon Dynamite, Napoleon's Jagger-like moves became the ace, securing popularity, ultimately winning Pedro's class presidency campaign. What's Google's "ace" regarding its social faceoff with Facebook? As an industry blogger predicts, it's going to be Google+'s ability to fuse search, social, and visibility aspects together. Usage of the Google+ platform will be encouraged as good online practice, giving Google+ a huge edge over the competition.
Right now, Facebook is clearly the biggest, most popular kid on the social playground, but while Google+'s numbers are not of a Goliath stature, G is no David. I think we all will see some savvy modifications done to Google+ in 2012. In addition, I think we'll see the masterminds behind Google making a stronger push for social site domination, making Facebook lose a little face in the process.