The sky is cloudy, leaves are on the ground, and school is back in session.
Yup, it's fall.1
Although I can't wait to go jump on deliciously crunchy leaves, I want to talk about the past summer. While many of us were busy working, taking classes, or waking up at the crack of noon, the land of teh interwebz welcomed a new face to the social media scene.
Meet the Facebook filleter, the Twitter terminator: Google+.
This new tool combines features of both social media giants to create a Facebook-style environment where a user can follow or be followed; you don't need to share a mutual friendship to be connected. In addition, friends can be categorized into different circles. From there, users can choose which circles can see their posts.
Never again will you have to censor yourself to a tone that you speak to your grandparents in!
You're probably thinking, "If Google+ is so great, why are Facebook and Twitter still around?" Excellent question. The above news occurred over the summer—let me tell you the rest of the story.
Google+ carried the prospect of becoming the ultimate social media website back in July. Since then, its number of weekly visitors have dropped and the average amount of time spent on the site has stagnated. Many of its users are asking, "Why do I need this website? I've already got Facebook."
Admittedly, I have asked myself the same thing.
As I had previously discussed, I'm not a fan of Facebook. However, I already established it as my online medium of social networking. I have friends, family, photos, etc. that I can't just pack up and haul over to another site, no matter how nice and shiny it is.
I would really love to though.
It's also important to note that Google+ is still in beta and operates on an "invite only" system. It's like being invited to a exclusive club that happens to be too exclusive. I've got 300+ friends on Facebook compared to 20 on Google+. Which audience do you think I would rather write for?
Unless something drastic happens to Facebook or Google+ offers something truly groundbreaking, change doesn't look imminent for the social media world. It could happen as soon as November 5th as members of Anonymous have threatened to take down Facebook, or it could be drawn out like the migration from Myspace to Facebook.
As with the changing of the seasons, we'll just have to wait for what will happen.
I'm rooting for Google+.
1. [Disclaimer: fall officially starts on September 23.]↩