In an effort to continue to differentiate itself from Facebook, Google+ has turned its attention to giving users more freedom with regard to just how public their posts are. As Facebook keeps moving itself in the direction of Mark Zuckerberg’s “share everything” mantra, Google+ is taking what might be considered the privacy and user rights high road. Here is a video that was embedded in a post (a public one of course) by one of the engineers on this team, Ebby Amirebrahimi, regarding the ability to now lock a post and turn off comments before publishing.
It appears as if Google is learning that Google+ may have to continue to be the “anti-Facebook” in order to succeed since going toe to toe with Facebook could end up in disaster. By dressing itself up to be attractive to those who are getting turned off by Facebook’s push to force everything out into the open at all times, Google may be attractive to a smaller audience than Facebook but it could end up being a sizable one nonethelesss.
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Hopefully Google has realistically defined what victory is in this battle because then there is hope for making a real impact in the social space. Often projects are doomed by expectations that are out of line with reality (like replacing Facebook at number one) or are based on outside pressures (like allowing the tech press to lead the service around by the nose and rub it in every mistake).
So far it seems like Google+ has a shot. Will it be the new Facebook? Honestly, let’s hope not.