Who’s the most popular person on Google+ right now? Mark Zuckerberg. Believe it or not, his numbers beat out Google CEO Larry Page and company co-founder Sergey Brin, probably due to the media circus surrounding his sign up. But as Zuckerberg told tech blogger Robert Scobie, “Why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google account?”

Who’s the most popular person on Google+ right now? Mark Zuckerberg. Believe it or not, his numbers beat out Google CEO Larry Page and company co-founder Sergey Brin, probably due to the media circus surrounding his sign up. But as Zuckerberg told tech blogger Robert Scobie, “Why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google account?”

Good point, Zuckerberg, good point. There’s plenty of social-intermingling going on: MySpace Tom (remember him?) has Google+ account, Google has over 70 Twitter accounts and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has a Facebook account, so Zuckerberg’s participation in Google+ probably isn’t a desperate act of espionage. I’m sure he’s sniffing out the competition a bit, but it’s perfectly normal to use the services of your competitors. Plus, nobody wants to be a Sour Sally.

I don’t think Zuckerberg has to worry anyway. Along with most of the world, I haven’t received an invite, but it’s not difficult to see what Google+ is all about. Unlike Facebook, you can easily creep on the site (and on people) without signing in. Case in point: one click on Zuckerberg’s profile took me to his friend Julie’s page, where I read the following startling revelation: “<3 egg salad sandwich.”

Like Facebook, people can update their statuses with useless trivia, but at least Google+ makes it easier to group friends and filter out the endless stream of inspirational quotes, baby photos and observations on lunch food. You can also edit posts without deleting them, which is by far the greatest Google+ feature I’ve come across.

But these features, along with many more that make socializing online more flexible and integrated, don’t spell the death of Facebook. Here’s why:

Number 1: People hate change. It takes me a week to get used to a new desktop background and I still haven’t come to terms with Google’s ridiculous black navigation bar. The world revolts whenever Facebook makes minor changes, so how would they cope with the scary world of Google+?

Number 2: You can’t use it without friends. Google+ is in a limited field trial, which means they’re testing out the beta version with a small group of people who are probably not your friends. Oh, and they’ve exceeded capacity so if you have an invite you might not be able to use it anyway. Having no friends on a social networking site is unsocial. And who’s to say all of your friends will migrate over once invites go public? Would you have both a Google+ and a Facebook account just to cover all the friend bases? That’s as much as having two email addresses.

Number 3: Facebook has a head start of over half a billion users. A good portion of those are pets, stalkers and fake celebrities, so let’s round it down to 500 million to be fair. It’s going to take a lot to convince 500 million people (or a least a good chunk of them) to pack up and move their online lives. Google+ has its perks, but it isn’t revolutionary enough to make that happen.

Number 4: It’s impossible to reconstruct your social life online. Repopulating your friend list is not a good time, especially when Facebook blocked the Google chrome extension that allows you to extract your Facebook contacts. Some see switching to Google+ as a way to start fresh and eliminate friend-clutter, but Google+ already goes against that grain—friendship is asymmetrical like Twitter and the Circles feature makes it easier to befriend randoms. I foresee a lot of sign ups for curiosity’s sake, but also a lot of empty profiles.

Google+ is definitely rocking its cool factor right now and I do think it’s well done, but it doesn’t have the ability to overtake Facebook in the long run. I’m still going to sign up though, just so I can creep on people. Because I’m like that.
 

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