We're now nearing the end of one of the busiest weeks of the year for the tech industry. As our previous blog discussed, we've already had announcements from Google about its social network, Google+, and whilst many were singing its praises earlier in the week, Google+ is now all but forgotten following yesterday's 'f8 developer conference' hosted by Facebook.
Much chit-chat has surrounded the launch of Google+ and how it could potentially challenge Facebook for the social media crown. But, having occupied the position for around 7 years, Facebook was never going to just roll over and give up.
Come on, you didn't think Facebook was going to give up did you?
Instead, Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook has radically redeveloped its site, and has fundamentally changed its offering. No longer is Facebook simply a means of sharing information and communicating with friends. Whilst all that is still possible, Facebook is now looking to become an online scrapbook of your life. Welcome Facebook Timeline.
Through its new Timeline interface, Facebook has provided users with a new kind of profile. Through it, you can better represent yourself (using a large 'cover' image) whilst key stories and events from your past will also appear across your timeline. You can share and highlight them and in doing so, tell your life story from beginning, to middle, to now. You can also fill in the events in your life which happened pre-Facebook, which of course, you couldn't do before hand.
Facebook Timeline is good - Facebook Apps are better
Whilst the new Timeline interface seems to have run away with the plaudits, it is the new apps which I'm most impressed with. Now, Facebook members can add applications to their profiles which allow them to share what they're up to with their friends, as they do what they do. What songs are you listening to at the moment? What movies are you watching? Maybe you've been for a run? All this information can be shared with your friends automatically, so they can join in too.
Google+ is a million miles away
I'm a great supporter of Google+, and I'd love to see the new platform take off and really achieve what it's setting out to do. However, following these latest announcements and releases from Facebook, Google+ looks a million miles away from where it needs to be.
Facebook is a game-changer
Facebook, as the market leader, has effectively been under-attack from its competitors for years now. They all want to emulate Facebook, but whilst they've been striving to achieve that, Facebook has been working on reinventing the social media space. Much like Apple has done in recent years through their iPod, iPhone and iPad products, Facebook has consistently forced its competitors to play catchup and whilst they're doing so, Apple and Facebook both work on new, ground-breaking products which will once again shift the focus and change the game.
With the apps, Facebook is once again changing the game. First they introduced the 'Like' button, which allowed users to share information from all corners of the web, with a single click of a button. Now, Facebook has asked the question, 'what if there was no button?' Would it be possible to share information via Facebook, whilst you're doing whatever it is you are doing? It seems, the answer is 'yes'.