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The Adoption of Google+

Google has posed the first viable threat to Facebook's monopoly on our digital social lives. Skimming through my news feed, it's clear that a threat to the current system is appealing to my generation'a small revolution against the Zuckerberg regime. As Facebook has grown to ubiquity over the past several years, there's been a simultaneous feeling of dependence upon and resistance against the network. However, I'm pretty confident that there will not be a mass migration of the nearly seven hundred million Facebook users tomorrow. Fresh out of school, I've been taught how to quickly and easily predict the fate of Google+. (And you can too: a lesson from Wikipedia on Rogers Five Factors.) I've amassed enough debt; here's what I've learned. Google+ has several valuable relative advantages over Facebook. Most notably, the developers try to mimic real world social organization by allowing users to categorize people: Good Looking Friends, People I Shouldn't Over-Share With, Bad Dates, etc.* Google+ also allows you to own and download your data. For those who have collected several years' worth of content on Facebook, a data back-up seems comforting. There's also an improvement on privacy settings, a constant issue for some Facebook users. (You may recall they failed miserably at securing user privacy the first time around.) Facebook may own half of my digital content, but Google conveniently owns the other half. The integration of Google+ with all the other Google applications that I use daily makes the new technology compatible. Another check off Rogers' list. As for the element of complexity, the Google+ interface seems intuitive if you have familiarity with any of Google's other products. The only exceptions are a couple of buggy interactions, which we can't criticize'this is Google+ Beta, after all. Many of my friends are already experimenting with the platform's trialability. It's easy to try, if you have at least one nerdy friend to invite you. And lastly, Google+ is sparking conversation and reactions, not surprisingly, all over the established social networks. (Rogers called this observability.) According to this scholar, Google+ appears to be a strong Facebook rival on paper. What does your intuition tell you? In my opinion, people could make room for a third social network. A friend of mine segmented the networks nicely: Facebook is a large arena to keep in touch with past acquaintances, Twitter is a platform to form potential relationships, and Google+ is, perhaps, a more intimate environment to regularly communicate with current friends and contacts. On the other hand, six million Americans deleted their Facebook accounts in May. Maybe, rather than a Facebook supplement, there's a desire for an alternative. And if you don't want to have to choose, check out this plug-in. *I think Google has 'borrowed'? this idea from Diaspora.

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