Google +1 and what Facebook should do in response
So, Google have introduced their +1 button.
I don’t think that this will have Facebook quaking in their boots. First off, for personalised recommendations (i.e. X number of your friends +1’d this) you need to link your Google account to those of your friends. Who does this really? I’d say 5-10% of Google account holders. We pretty much all have a Google account (and if you don’t, you should) but we use it for the tools like Gmail and Google Docs rather than as an integrated social media account. The average Facebook user has 200 to 400 friends that they communicate with/see statuses from regularly through the social networking site. Can anybody boast the same exposure of their social activity via their Google contacts?
Secondly, in relation to the anonymous +1’s, you have a situation whereby the most popular content, not the best quality or most accurate, rises to the top. I believe that rather than creating a nice cream-topped Irish coffee of search results, they will actually resemble the froth that gathers on the water of an inner-city renovated docks complex. Content from people like Piers Morgan and Lady Gaga will probably end up on the first page of our search results and, be honest, do any of us really want that to happen?!
Not that Facebook are quaking in their boots at +1, but they do have an opportunity to provide a superior alternative. They could do this by enabling their users to catalogue all of the Facebook pages and content that they have liked. So, when using my Facebook profile, I can access all of the articles and pages I have previously liked – using it as a read later type service or as a personalised Stumble Upon type service full of Facebook pages that you have previously liked. Also, and this would be the most effective element, friends can view each others Like catalogues. Your friend Dave has great taste in music? You would search through his Like catalogue music section and Like the pages yourself. Suzie always posts interesting news stories before you hear them through mainstream news channels? Browse through the news section of her Like catalogue and find out where she gets all this info.
Why will this work for Facebook? Because, like Google, everyone has a Facebook account. The difference is that Facebook accounts are integral to their social online activity.
What are your thoughts on this?