A year ago, the thought of Facebook being challenged by a new social network in any real sense of the word was an almost crazy idea. How could you possibly go against the social networking behemoth with over 750 million active users? Talk about an unfair advantage, well that would be an understatement. Unless of course, you completely redefined the way a social network should function.
A while back, I wrote an article on my personal blog about the future of social networking, in which I stated:
Get ready for a new era, an era where we interact on Facebook on a much more integrated level. The “car” and “road” of internet technology is slowly morphing into one united product. The line between “Facebook territory” and everything else will soon become blurred. Your browser will be your social media portal first and foremost. It’ll be your communications platform. It’ll be your Facebook wall. It’ll be your universal “like” button. Imagine all this on top of the superb browsing abilities of Firefox and Chrome. You will never again differentiate between browsing the web and browsing Facebook. A Facebook branded browser will serve both of those needs and more. It is very possible and it just may be here sooner than you know it.
Keep in mind, this was long before I had heard anything about Google+. Now however, the idea that I wrote about above seems to be much more in line with what Google is trying to do rather than with Facebook’s ambitious plans. Why? Well, simply put, if social networking is to eventually evolve beyond a website concept and merge into our web browsers, it sure would help to know someone within the browser market.
Oh wait a minute, doesn’t Google make a web browser? Yes, and it currently holds third place when pitted against Internet Explorer and Firefox. For a relitively new product, the Google Chrome browser is doing quite well, with almost 21% of worldwide market share. Not bad for a product that’s been out for less than three years.
So then, Google has an outstanding browser and a new social network that is catching on pretty fast. On top of that, they’re the experts in search technology and so many of us already rely on their email platform and other apps on a daily basis. The only missing ingredient was some glue to bring all of this together.
So then, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google+ becomes more and more reliant on the Chrome browser, until eventually, the entire social network lives within the browser rather than on an individual website. If Google can integrate our social networking experience with our web browsing experience, they just might be able to pull off one of the greatest upsets in the history of business. For now though, we’ll just have to wait and see, as their ultimate plan comes together one tiny plus sign at a time.