Things to consider for the battle:
- The Social Inbox vs The Professional Inbox
- Closed “social” inner circle vs Open “manageable” groups and channels
- One Inbox for different sources vs One Inbox control panel for all communications
- Facebook SMS integration vs Google voice
- Facebook Chat (no video) vs Google Talk
- Facebook News Stream vs Google Wave
- Facebook Updates vs Google Buzz
- Facebook profile vs Google profile
- Facebook identity vs Google identity
- Facebook email address vs Google friendly URL
1. The Social Inbox vs The Professional Inbox
The social inbox will be just fine for personal relationships but when it comes to more “serious” or “professional” relationships, the tendency is to avoid social networks and look for more professional services.
2. Closed “social” inner circle vs Open “manageable” groups and channels
A closed inner circle of friends is good if you want to close the door and take care of personal matters but it is limiting if you are looking to expand your opportunities. Professionally you need to open the door, go out of your home sweet home and shout your qualifications to generate opportunities.
3. One Inbox for different sources vs One Inbox control panel for all communications
The facebook approach to messaging is very nice indeed but it is limited to it’s closed network and services which has been called “facebook web inside the web”. A more open platform can include messages from other platforms such tweets, the different messaging systems, the different social netwoks, skype, mobile apps with file, picture, voice and video sharing, etc.
4. Facebook SMS integration vs Google voice
Google has a very big advantage when we it comes to voice and text messaging with the google voice service. It only needs to be integrated in one platform for all communications.
5. Facebook Chat (no video) vs Google Talk
Again google can easily win this one because google talk has video chat which facebook has been late to implement. The google messaging platform can have video chat with mobile apps ready to use the front face cameras that are going to be common in smart phones.
6. Facebook News Stream vs Google Wave
Google wave has the ability to kill just about any messaging, comment or email system that stands in its path. The problem is that the user interface has to be easy enough to be understood by a non technical user. Imagine an option to have real time conversations and collaboration powered by the google wave technology. That is, say you start a conversation by email, then follow the same conversation by the preferred messaging client of your contact, then in the same platform you see something interesting that your contact posted in twitter or facebook and you leave your comment and request your contact to reach you via sms; because your comment leads to your google profile and the different ways that you can be reached, your contact leaves a text and a voice message in your google voice mail; the next time you find your contact connected to its favorite social network and request for a video chat. So far so good but then you want your contact to collaborate in real time in a conversation that you are having with another friend of yours and you use the option that google wave can offer. This way google wave can be used not as a different platform but as part of an all integrating messaging system with the option to turn it on and off at will.
7. Facebook Updates vs Google Buzz
Here facebook is stronger but google can turn things around if it continues to improve google buzz features and integrates it in a general messaging system to access communication from different platforms.
8. Facebook profile vs Google profile
Here we get back to the social vs professional matter. A walled, closed inner circle of personal contacts is fine for social issues but it is inherently limited when you are looking for a professional image to expand your horizon of opportunities.
Google profile can evolve into a one stop communication tool and one stop profile page for any individual and company. It certainly needs a lot of work and features to reach such goal. But the features are already in place with the only problem that they are all loose in different services from google with different user interfaces.
If google can integrate all together to have such professional profile and communications page and in top of that offer a friendly URL then we are talking about a massaging and social page that even facebook can only dream about.
Add the ability to build “land pages” so that companies and people alike can customize the home page of their profiles. But of course, this has to have limits to avoid the nightmare of myspace pages that are so customized as to render them not useful. It has to be standard and easy to navigate even customized profile pages.
9. Facebook identity vs Google identity
The battle to establish a web ID is a tough one but facebook social dress of such identity cannot always get the work done when it comes to more professional needs. The inherently closed facebook platform inhibits the ability to reach a much more wide audience that lives outside facebook walls.
Google can easily reach such audiences of more professional nature because it’s products are open platforms and thus google can put together an all inclusive platform to manage contacts and communications from different networks.
To establish the google profile as the web ID of choice google needs to use the different services that are scattered around and put them together in one stop platform for communications. And to be the one stop for information about a person or company, it needs to integrate all the social networks and web presence the way it’s done with links but with more standards for easy profile browsing.
At the end maybe facebook ID will be used for personal matters and a Google ID will be more convinient for an all inclusive and professional image. Maybe facebook will agree to even participate in this all inclusive platform for communications.
But if facebook refuses to participate and instead continues to pursue forming it’s own web inside the web in an all walled and protected platform of communications, then google has to come up with a personal and closed alternative to it’s otherwise open platforms of communications. Groups may be an option to solve this issue.
Once a one stop communications platform it’s in place, group managing can offer the option to have private conversations and sharing of content. It can even be a password protected process. Imagine having a one stop communications and profile page where your friends can see one thing but your professional contacts cannot and if you want to protect content even further, you can set a password for a person or a group of people to access specific parts of your personal profile exclusive to only such person or group of people. All this can be done with groups managing. This will be a walled garden inside your google profile, a closed inner circle or group of circles that can be managed to the smallest detail. To accomplished such features, the user interface has to be clean and easy to browse. Google is good at building such user interfaces so it’s only matter of putting all together.
10. Facebook email address vs Google friendly URL
This is an extra that only a giant the size of google can offer to all it’s subscribers. Facebook can only go so far as to offer an email address which google has done since very long ago with a service that cannot be easily challenged by any other email service. Google excels at user interface designing. Gmail get the work done with the least amount of visual clutter or graphic crap that other email services are full of.
Now imagine a personal page to home your profile info around the web and your communications. That is not an easy task because you need it to be clutter free to be functional.
Google has started such project with it’s google profile pages but it is unfinished. You get a profile URL address but it is not so friendly. You get buzz but that is in no way enough to communicate, it needs an all inclusive communications platform. You can put links for your other web profiles but it is not standard so you may find it difficult to navigate, for example you only care about twitter, facebook, blog and personal page; but you need to find those in the middle of pages that don’t interest you.
Google needs to finish the job and put all it’s services together in one stop platforms that traduces in one stop page for a personal or company profile and communications. All of this wrapped in a friendly URL that will give you a decent web address for your profile and communications instead of yet another email address.
There are already services in the web that offer free URL friendly redirection to use for your blog for example. Google can implement this service for it’s profile page and communications platform.
The ultimate goal it’s to win the race for a web identity platform so google has to answer the new facebook messaging system with a more aggressive universal and all including communications platform.
If google accomplish such communications platform and integrates it in google profile, then google can establish itself as the profile platform of choice for both people and companies.
If google implements group managing for such communications system as to be able to have closed inner circles to share conversations, comments and content (with features such password protected content), then google can start talking about a facebook killer.
Put all of the above together and offer a friendly URL, opposed to an email address, and you can see all the difference that a clean, full of features and backed by a giant tech company, web address has against a poor and yet another email address no matter how social it is.
Let us see it with an example
gp stands for “google page” or “google profile”
Facebook offering: Yourfbnick@facebook.com
Google counter offering: www.You.me.gp
Or even better: www.You.gp
Facebook offering: Company@facebook.com
Google counter offering: www.Company.com.gp
Or maybe: www.Company.gp
If such addresses offer a one stop for communications and profile information together with a clean user interface and a full package of features, then google can win the battle to establish itself as the number one choice for web identification.