An Intermission: The Social Networking Wars

What gives rise to the germ of creativity? Well, in my most humble opinion, it is the human yearning for betterment that gives him the courage to snub the existing in pursuit of the unthinkable and the inconceivable. This insatiable need for innovation thrives on what I call the rational product of the human brain: idea. An idea, highly contagious, is the most resilient parasite. Once an idea gets hold of the brain it’s nigh impossible to eradicate. It was an idea that gave the world its first airplane, and it was again an idea that unleashed the latent power of the atom. An idea has the power to change the world, be it for the better or the worse. In this world of competition, ideas are a necessity whether natural or forced. Ideas can make a man earn a fortune, while a dearth of them can render him a failure. In the world of business, both the dearth as well as the abundance of ideas can give rise to conflicts of interests leading to marketing wars. A similar situation gave rise to the infamous Cola Wars of the 1980s between the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Incorporated.
 
Since then the business world has served as the battle ground for several marketing wars aimed at market dominance, but never before were the conditions so conducive for a Social Networking War. MySpace and Facebook have had their noses in it since the early days of social networking. MySpace was at the helm of the competition until being toppled by Facebook in 2008. Orkut, a social networking site owned and operated by Google, has enjoyed most of its popularity in India and Brazil. Orkut could never gain enough global popularity to make its presence felt in the social networking arena. Facebook’s supremacy in social networking has prevented Google from enjoying a carte blanche in the online arena. Facebook has emerged as the most successful social network in the internet history. Facebook’s growth, unlike other social networks, is solid as it updates the platform from time to time in order to keep the people interested and preventing them from getting bored and exploring other options.
 
Facebook today is posing a great challenge to the might of Internet giants like Google who were never predominant in the social networking business. Though Google is still the market leader in the online arena, it has been affected a lot by the growth of Facebook. Google, being an open platform, generates its income mainly from advertising through ‘Google Ads’ and the advent of Facebook’s advertising initiative ‘Facebook Ads’ has provided the advertisers with another choice. Though, Google’s advertising market is much larger than Facebook, but things in the current dynamic scenario things can change very quickly. That’s precisely the reason why Google wants to assert its authority in the social networking business arena as well.
 
‘Google Plus’ is Google’s latest venture into the world of social networking. Google Plus, launched on June 28, is steadily gaining ground in the social networking arena with it attracting about 20 million visitors in the initial three weeks with nearly half of these visitors hailing from US and India. The growth rates shown by Google Plus are not only unprecedented but also highly surprising considering it took a significantly long period for its competitors to show such penetration. Google Plus allows the users to post photos, messages, comments, and other content from selected groups of friends and most of its features are based on the lines of Facebook. Google’s ‘Plus’ service is not merely to be an online hangout like Facebook but is rather aimed at trying to gain valuable insights into people’s lives and relationships. This could help the company do a better job of targeting ads so that advertisers would pay more and have less reason to spend their money on Facebook.
 
Most of us are probably familiar with the Facebook “Like” button; Google’s +1 is a similar concept. The big difference is that Plus One will have a direct influence on the search results people see at Google. So let’s find out about the impact of Plus One on our SEO efforts. Here’s the basic concept of the new social SEO with plus one. If any of our friends or network members in +1 has searched on Google and then recommended something via the “+1-Button” one will see this in the search result pages. Google hopes to improve the results this way. The user will be able to see which of the search results have been liked by his network and which ones haven’t. This change is yet another step towards the evolution of social search, and it’s a natural progression to improve the search experience.” The sites that get a lot of recommendations via the Plus One feature will be considered more important and advance in the rankings.
 
However, this SEO approach could soon give rise to a situation where, motivated by the urge to dominate the market, these social networking sites could start to severely manipulate the market’s demand-supply balance. As we march into an era of social networking wars, where the lust for market supremacy would soon reach its pinnacle, the onus would be upon us—the users—to keep a check on our gullibility in order to prevent ourselves from getting victimized as the hands of this naked competition.
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About A Potpourri of Vestiges

Murtaza Ali is an independent film critic, sports writer, and content developer based out of Delhi. He is the author of the movie blog ‘A Potpourri of Vestiges’. He has been writing movie reviews at IMDb.COM for over four years. He is also associated with F1India.ORG as a content editor. Cinema is not only his passion, but also his greatest obsession. His all-time favorite movie-makers are Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Luis Bunuel, Andrei Tarkovsky, Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Satyajit Ray, Fritz Lang, Sergio Leonne, Francis Ford Cuppola, and Martin Scorsese.
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