The competition is hotting up in the world of social media. With the arrival of Google+, everyone is looking around to see how the newest social platform will fit into the market and what will give - because ultimately, something has to. Most expect Google+ users to migrate over from Facebook, although it's too early to say that that will definitively be the case because Google+ is still in 'invite-only' mode and people are still getting used to what the new platform has to offer.
Google+ is more closely related to Facebook than it is to Twitter, which is why the general consensus is that Google will attract users from the social heavyweight. For most people, managing more than just one social profile is too much to ask, and I've already spoken to a few people who have stopped using Facebook in favour of using Twitter - so when Google+ opens for everyone, I'm sure many more will also be tempted to make a move.
Google and Facebook learn from each other
It's been interesting to watch the activity which has come about as a result of the introduction of Google+. Facebook in particular, has been very busy and has looked to take what it has learnt from Google+, and employ it within it's own systems. An example of this is how Facebook now provides users with the ability to group contacts, which can be said to have come about as a result of inspiration drawn from Google+ Circles.
But what I find more interesting than the competition between Facebook and Google, is what Twitter is planning on for the future and how it intends on avoiding the clash which will inevitably come between Facebook and Google.
Twitter is different and doesn't want to be categorised with Facebook and Google+
The great thing about Twitter is its simplicity. Its whole purpose is to be a fast-paced stream of information and chit-chat which pretty much anyone can get involved in. From the moment you set up a Twitter account, its simplicity is hard to avoid. You don't have to register any real personal details, you can claim your account within seconds, and you need to be quite simplistic when it comes to posting updates - after all, you only have 140 characters to do it in.
Now Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, is planning on streamlining the micro-blogging platform even further. Whilst Facebook and Google are looking to bolt extra functionality onto their services, Twitter is planning on cutting back. This innovative approach is an attempt to ensure Twitter remains unique in its offering and avoids clashing with the other two companies.
Quite how Twitter plans on simplifying its service remains to be seen but nevertheless, it's certainly an approach which is sure to benefit the company in the longterm. Those people I have spoken to who have moved from using Facebook to using Twitter, have said that they did so because of just how easy Twitter is to manage. If they can go one-step further and make the service even easier, then that would only strengthen its attraction and USP.
I think John Battelle said it best when he said, "Twitter is a pencil. Facebook, on the other hand, is Photoshop. There's so much you can do with it, the pencil function gets lost."