I was slightly disappointed to learn recently that the Apple OS X Mountain Lion integration with Facebook would be delayed until fall. The much talked-about ability for users to post photos, comments and links within applications feels like a simpler more streamlined approach for users and — more importantly — for developers around the world.
Currently, a web site owner must wade through the muddy sea of plug-ins and code snippets to ensure that his or her users have the ability to quickly share content with friends and family. The concept of building this functionality into operation systems seems like a no brainer for users, website owners, developers and the entire digital industry.
Both Apple and Facebook have publicly stated a shared future of integration. Let’s hope this theory plays out, and things get simpler with less work for everyone.
When tight integration of Facebook into the Apple operation systems arrives, we have to ask ourselves how this will affect Google+. With Google+ recently marking its one-year anniversary, the nascent social media entity is still trailing Facebook, big time. Currently the score is:
• Google+ 150 million monthly active users
• Facebook 900 million monthly active users
Independent research also shows that Facebook users engage much longer than Google+ users, which is crucial for advertising revenue. A comScore report from January stated Facebook users spent an average of 7.5 hours on the site, compared to 3.3 minutes on site for users of Google+. Ouch for Google+
I can’t imagine that Facebook-Apple integration will do anything but broaden that gap, strengthening Facebook and weakening Google+. Although it’s not a done deal yet. Facebook the corporation is a newbie in the arena of shareholders and forecasts. Since its much publicized initial public offering in May, the value of Facebook stock has dropped 40 percent. Ouch for Facebook investors.
At Imaginuity Interactive, we love working with fighter brands, and I continue to hold out hope that over time Google+ can find a niche in the digital arena. BUT this Apple/Facebook partnership could be one more nail in the Google+ coffin. Stay tuned.