The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Google Plus isn’t really a rival

Remember when MySpace was cool? How about AIM? How long will Facebook be the king of online social networking before it one day fizzles out just like MySpace and AIM?

Could Google Plus be the next big thing, taking Facebook’s spot on the cyber throne? 

My guess is no.

Google Plus, which launched in June 2011, was Google’s biggest attempt to rival Facebook, according to The New York Times.

The site mimicked many of Facebook’s features, such as picture and video uploads and status updates, but also added new components that Facebook lacked, such as friend circles and group video chats.

While in theory Google Plus seems like a great idea, it has not picked up enough momentum to truly compete with Facebook yet.

Although Google co-founder Larry Page says that Google Plus reached 40 million users in October this year, I still only know a small handful of people who actually use Google Plus, while I know only a handful of people who do not use Facebook.

Sophomore Kelsey Worthy got a Google Plus account in June but only posted one status and deactivated it shortly after.

“The whole fun of Facebook is that everyone is already on it,” said Worthy. “Nobody was on Google Plus. I never did anything on it and I never saw anything on it. It’s that simple.”

With how popular Facebook already is, it is easy to be apathetic about starting over on a different social networking site. There is a general question of: why bother starting from scratch while Facebook still exists and continues to thrive?

Sophomore Stephanie Seligman, who has a Google Plus account, has not used the service in over a month and does not think that it will replace Facebook.

“I got one because I thought that everyone would get one, and it would be the new Facebook,” Seligman said. “I doubt it will (replace Facebook). No one cares anymore. It was cool for a few weeks, and then fizzled out because it’s hard to use.”

Facebook has become so embedded in our culture today that it seems almost impossible that something could replace it, especially since Facebook is constantly changing its layout and adding new components to continually improve the site and keep users from getting bored.

Unfortunately for Google Plus, it seems that the most it has accomplished has been pressuring Facebook creators to expand on certain layouts and features that Google Plus possessed. 

While Google Plus offers a competitive motivation for Facebook to step up its game, it has only made transferring over to Google Plus less appealing for Facebook users.

Cory Kirkland, a sophomore at North Carolina State University, enjoys using Google Plus but thinks that Facebook is still superior.

“Google Plus can’t really take over Facebook, since Facebook already has such a strong hold on the social networking game,” said Kirkland. “It was a good try on something that has already been perfected. It could take over if Facebook were to have a falling out due to privacy issues or if Google came out with something crazy and innovative in social networking.”

Perhaps in the cyber world’s future there will be something even bigger and better than Facebook. Maybe it will even be some improved version of Google Plus. Our culture thrives on coming up with the “next big thing,” but I think, for now at least, Facebook is here to stay.

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