Google just launched its new Social Media site, Google+. Comparisons to Facebook are obvious, but let’s take a look beyond the interface and the application, and look at the big business behind Social Media.
Facebook reportedly has 750 million users and, while still privately held, is currently valued between $75 billion and $100 billion. With Google sitting at a current market cap of $200 billion, the prospect of incorporating a product that could potentially add 50% to their overall value is certainly intriguing.
The biggest knock against Google+ is the current lack of users, but that is becoming more of a moot point every day. If you’ve watched The Social Network or read The Accidental Billionaires, then you know the history of Facebook and how initially it was exclusive to college students. In a vaguely similar fashion, Google+ is currently in beta and by invitation only. Despite this, Google+ racked up 10 million users in two-and-a-half weeks; the same amount took Facebook two-and-a-half years. At its current pace Google+ could realize 100 million users in four months; the same amount took Facebook four years.
Google+ is certainly a threat to Facebook. In my opinion the biggest issue facing Facebook is, well, Facebook. The majority of those 750 million Facebook users are already used to sharing their lives through a Social Media format. While Facebook put up impressive numbers, even in the earliest of days, it faced hesitation from many eventual users who either failed to see the value of a Social Media community or were simply reluctant to share their lives and personal information online. Of those who were eventually won over and now use Facebook, that barrier has already been broken down.
Though it missed the mark with attempts like Buzz and Wave, Google seems to have a hit with Google+. It has the traction to imply that it could be a major competitor in the Social Media scene.
For more information, check out plus.google.com.