Thursday, 15 September 2011

Monkey See Monkey do: Facebook gets more like Twitter and Google+

Well it was only a matter of time before the ‘me-too’ skirmish began amongst the top guns of the social networking world. It’s Facebook that is now off the mark with the introduction of some new features that are strikingly similar to that of its closest adversaries. 

So it’s not called a ‘Follow’ button, but users can now ‘subscribe’ to Facebook users that they aren’t already friends with –such features already being commonplace on Twitter and new boy Google+.  Furthermore, users can not only follow key journalists, celebrities and people of interest, they can now organise their news feed in to lists (hardly an inconspicuous Facebook version of the Google plus Circles).

No doubt the competition between the three networks is heating up and there will be all the more monkey see monkey do activity in the year ahead. However, as a PR person I have to say the most interesting question to pose now is how will developments like the above change the way brands use the three networks.

With Facebook already a hub of b2c activity I wouldn’t be surprised to see certain branded pages acting as an umbrella for many official profiles whose posts will unsurprisingly be public. With more and more findings demonstrating the influence of Facebook on the SERPs, more public profiles could add to the social layer of a brand’s SEO.

For Twitter, many social media boffins may now argue that the pressure is on for it to develop. However, I can’t see any big changes in how brands will use the social network, only in how Twitter opts to generate revenue from it.

For Google+ it’s still a case of the chicken and egg. No doubt many social media savvy brands are salivating over the opportunity laden space that is the fastest growing social network to date but what comes first, the brands or the users? We call it user generated content, but more often than not it is facilitated by a brand. Either way it would appear that Google+ has indeed caused a stir in the social networking market which will no doubt influence brand activity across all three networks in the years to come.


Post a Comment