Feeling a sense of deja vu on seeing the redesigned News Feed on Facebook? Well, you’re not alone—there are many who think Facebook’s revamped News Feed looks a lot like a Google+ homepage.
That’s right—the “clutter-free” feed with bigger images, videos and maps is something that Google+ has been showcasing for quite a while now, and it does look like Facebook has taken a page out of its rival’s books for the much-awaited overhaul of their News Feed.
But during the unveiling of this new design Thursday, Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg didn’t seem to be too worried about competing social networks. Dismissing his competition, Zuckerberg said, of Facebook: “There’s no other social service like this at scale.”
He does have a point. A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project put Facebook as the most popular social networking platform in America, with a whopping 67 percent of online American adults said to be Facebook users.
According to the study, competing social networks like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr fell by the wayside, with the strongest among them enjoying only 16 percent of the overall Internet audience.
Interestingly enough, Google+ wasn’t mentioned in the report. We don’t know if that was simply an unfortunate omission, or if it was yet another nod to the supposed “ghost town” status of the fledgling social network.
But it’s not just the users who are going to be impressed by the new and improved Facebook. The new look will now enable marketers and advertisers to put out more striking and visually pleasing interactions to make their presence felt on the social network.
The removal of the left panel on the desktop is one change that’s particularly noteworthy since that change increases the space on the right hand side, which will now allow the pint-sized sponsored advertisements to become bigger and possibly more interactive.
Also significant is Facebook’s push to better its mobile experience—after all, the social network is already the leader in mobile display ad sales, and enhancing the platform’s user experience is going to make it more appealing to mobile marketers.
So where does all this leave Google+? Well, they’re not sitting idle. They revealed major changes to their platform a day before Facebook did, and they’ve already rolled out the new version to their users, unlike Facebook, who have declared that they’ll take a couple of weeks to do the same.
It’s hard not to be at least mildly impressed by Google+’s fortitude and perseverance—they may be a long way from getting to Facebook’s glorious user base, but they seem to be dead-set on their goal to reach that milestone.
We, for one, are going to keep a close eye on how this social network rivalry is going to play out.
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