The stage was set. The gunpowder was laid down. All that it needed was a bit of spark. And then it went BOOM. The arrival of Google plus intensified the already present, though a bit sluggish, social media battle and has now grown into a full fledged war. The war cry is numbers, read active members and whosoever is able to corner the maximum, wins it hands down.
What is there to win - The crown of undisputed king of user’s personal information which would help them grab the lion’s share of online advertising market spend.
What are the weapons of Mass Engagement – Applications, Platforms, which are contagious, viral, sticky and hook on the users. The users, further, on their own keep adding data which is emotional, controversial and viral in nature. This leads to spiral growth and each player keeps on adding more features to make its platform more sticky, more irresistible.
Social Media Wars are heating up with each passing day. Let’s check out the top 7 battles which are being fought right now.
1. Facebook vs Google+ Facebook is the lead runner, but no one can rule out the possibility that it can also run out of the steam at some point of time. After all, friendster, MySpace etc. were considered invincible at the prime of their time, too.
Google Plus got rave reviews, but slowly ran out of ideas to attract new sign ups. Facebook kept on knocking one after the other deadly blows like timeline, along with numerous updates to its photo features, revamped friend list, subscriptions etc. and successfully managed to keep its member base intact.
Things are not that bad for Google plus. Despite of the recent number controversy Google+ is still amongst the most promising online properties on the net. It recently underwent a design change and has begun to look better in its second avatar. Critics are speculating that twitter could be the unlikely causality of the ongoing battle between G+ and Facebook.
2. Yahoo vs Yahoo
Yahoo is fighting the battle of its lifetime. It is fighting with no one else but itself. No one else is responsible other than yahoo for its fall from grace. Its inability to innovate, to keep itself or its products in sync with today’s times is responsible for such a shoddy state of affairs.Yahoo has begun the one last effort to pull it off. As we noted in one of our post on yahoo’s recent firing – “Scott Thomson is on a mission impossible. Yahoo’s revival will be no less than a miracle… The beginning of making the company lean, the beginning of cutting the flab (firing will help it save $375 million) in short, it’s the beginning of one last BIG effort to turnaround the company and save it from sinking into oblivion.”
Player to watch out for – Bing. If yahoo gets acquired by Microsoft (chances can’t be ruled out), Bing could make it a two way battle and can pose a stiffer challenge to Google.
3. Pinterest vs Instagram
Instagram was bought by facebook for one billion dollars and the next sensation, pinterest is being valued around 7 billion dollars. Both photo sharing sites have different purpose and usage. Still pinterest has got a huge traction and is the current media darling. Another player which is watching the proceedings from the sideline is flickr – The original photo sharing site. That, it belongs to yahoo is another reason why its movement is slow and future remains uncertain.
4. Google +1 vs Facebook Likes
Google is hard pushing its +1 button to counter the surge of facebook likes. Google has made it clear that social signals will begin to matter and weigh in search engine ranking. Instead of relying on facebook’s walled garden’s likes, it developed and hard pushed its own +1 button across the publisher’s network. Google wants to make sure that more people use +1 to recommend a content piece/website, rather than using FB likes.
5. Skype vs Google Plus Hangout
Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion and Facebook thought it could piggyback its technology to counter Google Plus most loved and killer feature – Hangouts. Critics are still quite fascinated about hangouts and there is nothing stopping Google to hard sell it. Moreover, next in the line is “on air” feature, where in you make your hangout public for the non participants too. This could be heavily used by academics and internet marketers. Skype though continues to enjoy the popularity , however will not be any match for Google Plus hangout any time soon.
6. Tumblr vs Blogger vs WordPress
Tumblr is rising rapidly and has redefined blogging. Blogger and wordpress are still the most preferred way of blogging but tumblr has a class and following of its own. Tumblr’s competitor posterous has left the race mid way. Its surge was so fast that even blogger got left behind.
Why tumblr is threatening wordpress “a. Tumblr functions more like a social network – thus people who use Tumblr tend to also subscribe/follow other Tumblrs – creating a strong network effect. b. Cross-blog tagging – this brings a bit of Twitter to the blog network – allowing people to easily aggregate content, by tag, across blogs. This also, no doubt, aids in content discovery. c. Tumblr reduces barriers to publishing content – unlike a traditional blog, where people feel the need to provide richer content, Tumblr tends to encourage simple posts.”
Serious bloggers who want a domain of their own, or a complete cms solution, will continue remain on blogger or wordpress, but for blog enthusiasts, amateurs, tumblr will continue to remain first choice.
7. Digg vs Reddit vs StumbleUpon
Last but not the least. The traditional animosity between Digg and Reddit is losing its steam. Digg isn’t getting the kind of traffic it used to receive and stumbleupon is continuously evolving as a preferred referral of traffic . Last year in July, statcounter.com , revealed that, as a referral, StumbleUpon has begun to throw more traffic to the US webmasters instead of Facebook. The newly re launched delicious.com could be another player to watchout for. It is important to note that, off late, Social bookmarking has lost the attractiveness due to social sharing which is happening across the social networking sites like facebook, linked in etc.
Conclusion In short, from the mid of 2013, we will be witnessing a period of unanticipated upheavals. Many giants could bite the dust and some small fringe players could rise to the occasion too (there could be few more instagram moments) The current battle, will ensure these companies will keep on adding something new in their arsenal, so as outgrow each other. Some may get it right, some may simply have no idea where to begin with (yahoo a case in point). Nonetheless, it will be exiting to keep a watch on these wars and understand the ramification of each event as it unfolds. We will keep you updated, stay tuned.