The biggest challenge now is to build upon social brand loyalty. Only then these services will be able to add value to the rupee spent by the advertisers. Also, with global businesses becoming local and vice-versa, it is very essential that each rupee of an advertiser is spent to reach to the intended market.Comparing Facebook and Google, Facebook service can be used by people at large while the core business of Google, the search engine, is not used by all. Still, a limited portion of online population knows the power of google search engine and what all it can do for them. On the contrary, you ask any user of the Facebook why he/she has an account, they have a very strong justifications like keeping in touch and remaining connected with family, extended family, friends, batchmates, etc. So a service that could do more than search was sort of inevitable for Google and we saw Google+.
The main challenge is to create social brand loyalty among the users of such services. For a user like you and me, we have an account on these services, but for Google and Facebook, they have a profile of people with the information about their preferences, likes and dislikes, interests, habits, etc. along with the basic demographic profile. All this is very important for the advertisers. So, both Facebook and Google would like to see an individual maintaining only one social identity either on Facebook or Google and all the product portfolio increments either through acquisitions or in-house developments are aimed at offering a single platform to the users so that they don’t require having presence on another social network.
In the professional network space, the things are pretty clear with linkedin emerging as the single largest network for professional networking and their recent enhancement of job products makes it crystal clear what they want to focus at.
For the individual users or social networks which are used by everybody including professionals for just socialising, the competition is going to remain between Facebook and Google+. I think Google some underestimated the growth of Facebook in initial years and by the time they reacted Facebook was already an established name. Today, it is very difficult to expect throwing Facebook out of the online world, or, for that matter from our lives.
To conclude, I believe, these two entities are going to remain and the focus would be on maximising the share of unique users on these social networks. While, it seems the experimenting stage is over, people are getting a sense whether they should remain active on Facebook or Google+. I will not be surprised to see, very soon, analytics like active users, unique users, etc. coming from Facebook and Google+ over which they can seek premium from the advertisers.