Monday, 11 July 2011

Facebook on Google Plus > a step towards social search?

Many people have been wondering how is Google+ going to go down with mainstream audience. Seeing that Wave failed abysmally I reserve my judgment until I see how this story develops over the next few months.

I am a great admirer of Google. I think it has best usability, design and brand... I even like it's improving ethics. So I have a lot of time for Google+.

However, for many people Facebook is not just a website, it's a destination - people spend hours there talking to their friends, updating their info, stalking other people... So it's hard to see why they would change their daily habit and switch.

It seems that Facebook on Google + (currently only available for Chrome and Firefox and doesn't yet work on mobile) might be a solution to this conundrum. If you install this application you can view your FB content in your Google+ stream. The down-side in terms of usability is that as soon as you click on any links in your FB stream, you are taken to your Facebook profile.

Now is this really a down side as Read Write Web says in this article or could it be that this app is the first step towards enabling Google to become a leader in social search? In order to enable the viewing of your FB feed in your Google+ stream, you need to allow Google access to all your FB data (as per any other FB app).

Which is exactly what Google needs to be able to mix up the info about yours and your friends preferences with it's already superior (to Facebook) search results. So let's say you are searching for a pub in a certain area - you will get paid and organic search results as well as results based on your fiends FB Places check-ins or comments about a location in their status.

Obviously if I figured this one out, so will FB and they might feel that this is too much of a threat to their plan for world domination. For instance, they would lose views on their advertising which doesn't get pulled through into Google+ through this app. At the same time, the technology used to develop these apps seems to be straight-forward FB open platform, so I am not sure how FB will justify shutting this one as they did before according to the same article on Read Write Web.

No comments: