The short answer is yes, Google+ has the potential to steal a lot of Facebook’s dedicated users, provided it gets adopted on a massive scale.
In case you’re not aware, Google announced the Google+ project earlier today and after looking at the promotional videos and accompanying blog post I must say that I think it’s a giant leap forward for Google. This can fundamentally change the way we use the internet. Think Facebook, but without the “walled garden” approach, that’s been the biggest problem with Facebook since day one.
Google+ allows you to share any content from the Internet with you friends on the go, you get to group your friends and share to a whole list at a time as well. Think of it like this, when you are on Facebook and you see a funny video of a cat sneezing you share it on your wall and your friends on Facebook can see it under their popular posts. Google+ will essentially do the same thing, except you wont need to be on Facebook or on any specific site for that matter. Google+ potentially turns the entire Internet into one large social network.
The Google+ project is more than just sharing though, you will also be in contact with all your friends as you go about your daily online activity, you can chat and even video call any of your friends (or groups of friends). They call this “+Hangouts”.
The entire idea is also integrated with your mobile device, so you can share what’s around, right now, without any hassle and it will automatically become part of your Google+ profile.
If this takes off it will be great news for developers, designers and clients alike as they won’t be limited to the dreaded tab in Facebook any longer for their social campaigns. This approach will allow the Internet to act like it used to (and is supposed to) and you can run your social campaign from your own site (with its own look and feel) again.
They did not say this, but should this be adopted on a large scale I can see Google+ having online “Apps” like comment systems, polls and integration with Google’s existing site login system, so that when you comment on anything from a CNN news article to a site about dancing pandas your friends will be able to follow your online activity and discover new things online. Enabling you to share anything with anyone you like.
It seems that Google is finally putting the “social” back in “social network”.