Is Facebook Running Scared?

Wow. I never expected this.

I have been using Google+ for about a month now and find it to be a great social media application. I’m not surprised to find a lot of people trying it out and liking it.

What does surprise me is how badly Facebook’s attempt at outshining Google+ seems to be backfiring on them. With changes to the newsfeed, the addition of the timeline feature, subscriptions, and new partnerships with Netflix and Spotify (to name a few), Facebook launched a campaign to steal Google’s thunder.

Unfortunately all of the changes combined with some controversial moves (such as Spotify now requiring FB for login) have served to upset users instead of impress them. While there have been numerous times in the past where users have been upset at changes to Facebook only to suck it up and move on, this time around users have a viable alternative to look at in Google+ and they are definitely taking a look.

Time will tell if Google+ will become the Facebook competitor that many seem to think it will be but the effect that it’s launch has had on Facebook is amazing. I don’t remember a time where Facebook has made such drastic moves in reaction to another service. The net result seems to be the opposite of what they were hoping for.

My thought is that if they had continued their path of gradually introducing features and allowing users time to get used to them, people would have looked at Google+ as more of a curiosity than an alternative.

Instead, users who are now feeling overwhelmed and alienated by the “new” Facebook are turning to Google+ and are willing invest their time to explore what it has to offer. For Google, that’s just the kind of jump start they needed to get a foothold in the social media landscape that Facebook has dominated.

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