Thursday, June 30, 2011

The battle for the web continues

My post last month declared that the battle for the web has begun, with the rivalry between Google and Facebook escalating to the point where a Global PR agency was hired by Facebook to tarnish the reputation of one of Google's products.

And now the battle over the eyeballs & attention, browsing behaviour and therefore the wallets of the majority of Internet users has taken another step forward with Google's announcement of Google Plus ... its own social networking site that lets users post photographs and videos as well as comments and messages. In addition it claims to allow users have "real world interactions" and "real life sharing" (whatever that is, but my guess its somewhere between a Facebook status update and a Twitter post).

This latest dive into the social space by the mighty G has already built up a healthy cynicism for the digital elite, who claim that Google's previous attempts at social networking have been less-than ideal and I also have my already-documented reservations about their ability to understand and develop social functionality.

However, let's not forget that Google already has a working and popular social networking platform... http://www.orkut.com/ . Now it may not be that popular in Europe or the United States, but Orkut has over 100 million global active users... with a high proportion of them in Brazil and India.

So before we all dismiss Google Plus as a venture as flawed as Buzz and Wave (which I still think will make a magical and evolved appearance when the world is ready for it), consider that Orkut is in the top 100 of all sites according to Alexa. And furthermore, ask yourself what would happen if it decided to merge this community with its newly-created Plus service?

The battle continues....
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