In a guest post on TechCrunch, Tom Anderson, former President and founder of MySpace, talks about Google + and Facebook and how Google is going to radically change the social networking game and how Facebook must react if they want to be relevant five years from now.
If it’s not obvious yet, Google+ is going to be able to “undercut” Facebook when it comes to game developers and platform transactions. Instead of taking a 30% cut of all Farmville seeds (or whatever people are buying), Google will be able to take a smaller percentage for themselves. They may even take nothing. And when it comes to “monetization” on the G+ “website,” Google’s trump card against Facebook is that we may never even see an ad on G+. Google has plenty to gain without ever showing an ad and, put simply, Google doesn’t need the money. Facebook’s got to know this, and it’s got to have them just a little bit concerned.
Everything, according to Anderson, hinges on how Google launches their G+ platform for developers. The way he sees it, Facebook really screwed up with the way they’ve handled this, giving developers almost total free reign and then being perceived as the bad guy when they began pulling in those reigns and tightening their grip. He does give Facebook kudos for how they’ve handled branding and business uses of the site, a model of encouraging individual users before business which he advises Google to follow.
Anderson points out one of the big mistakes that MySpace made and how the delicate balance between regular people, advertisers, small businesses, and platform developers is tough to maintain, but crucial for long-term survival and growth.
His points are very valid and definitely cut to the core of what is happening in the current social media shakeup.