There will be many who bemoan that there’s now yet another social network out there to keep track of. Weren’t there enough already? Don’t Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all those other sites cover our social networking needs? “I don’t want another social network!”
But here’s the cool thing. The fact that Google+ has gotten some serious wind in its sails (unlike the dead-in-the-water duck that is Google Buzz) will bring something sorely needed to the social space: Competition.
Competition is the cure for complacency
Because let’s face it, the enormous size and mainstream domination of Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter, was risking complacency in these companies. If not now, then soon.
If you have a ton of users who want to stay connected with each other but don’t really have any other place to go, it becomes all too easy to keep them around without actually providing the best product you possibly could.
But now Google+ will light a fire under the collective behinds of Facebook, Twitter at al. These companies are going to get more creative and focused on keeping their users happy. Because now there’s another big player out there that wants what they have. That option alone is a huge motivator.
Then there’s another thing to consider, and that’s the cross pollination of ideas.
Stealing and borrowing as a good thing
Think what you will of it, but Facebook will steal/mimic/borrow ideas from Google+, Google+ will do the same from Facebook and Twitter, Twitter will find inspiration in relevant parts of Google+, and so on. This is actually a good thing, and is how progress works. Remember that saying, “we stand on the shoulders of giants.” We learn and grow and build on what others have done before us, with very few exceptions.
That alone is worth another big social network to keep track of, don’t you think? Even if you don’t participate.
Image credit: Panda by Cliff1066 on Flickr.