Google+ is the latest project, and it's currently only available by invitation to a limited number of people. Initial reports suggest that the content is a re-packaging of existing function and not much new.
However, there are many interesting questions:
- Will users migrate from Facebook? There's incredible inertia when you've invested time in building up a network; and it's hard to move unless others do too. But once a trickle starts the network effect helps it become a flood. Google will be betting on that, and on Facebook's increasing frustrations, especially over data privacy.
- But Google is hardly free from privacy concerns of its own; it has lost trust over the WiFi data gathering it mistakenly conducted. And society loves the underdog; but when a company gets as big and powerful as Google (or Facebook) then the stones start to be thrown. It's quite medieval!
- Facebook is appropriate for marketing, but not (as an alternative to SharePoint) for business collaboration. There's an opportunity in this space, but does a business really want internal information about products and plans passing through the Google indexing engines?! There may be an opportunity but it's far from obvious that, given Google's advertising-based-on-data-gathering revenue model, that Google is the best company to exploit it!
Yes, the fast-paced technology world is good for lots of things, including the drama of corporate battles unfolding before our eyes. Keep watching!