There’s been a lot of talk about Google+ in the techie circles. Some have even declared that Facebook and Twitter are now on a quick way out [1]. That’s quite a bold statement to make about services which have over 750 [2] and 200 [3] million users, respectively.

For a social network, obviously one of the most important requirements is that it has people in it. With everyone and their parents having joined Facebook and Twitter having become such an important communication service that even the President of the United States is using it to coordinate questions for his Twitter town hall meeting [4], how can one persuade people to switch to Google+?

Of course some have valid gripes with Facebook’s policies regarding privacy and might have been waiting for an alternative to leap to. But is this is enough to drive the critical mass from Facebook to Google? And are the policies of Google actually better? Google recently announced that they would be deleting all the private Google profiles and only allow public profiles in the future [5]. This is a natural decision for Google - they run The Search Engine after all - but is this a natural decision for users?

One of the most important arguments for me for moving to Google+ is the better user experience in sharing stuff with only certain groups - or Circles as Google refers to them. However Facebook already has support for similar sharing restrictions albeit with a poorer UX. I’ve actually only tried this once recently and ended up sharing my status post with everyone else except the ones I actually tried to share to. Yikes! If the easier restricting of sharing proves to be a major selling point, I’m sure Facebook will devote a lot of attention on improving their implementation - well before the critical mass of the users end up switching to Facebook’s competitor.

I dislike the fact that Twitter and Facebook, two privately owned companies with China rumoredly eyeing the shares of Facebook [6], have become such powerhouses in the world of social media. For this reason I’m glad that Google is stepping into the fight. Even if the balances of power will not be tipped, healthy competition surely won’t be a bad thing for the users. However if a non-techie friend of mine asks for what for she should to switch to Google+ - to move all their photo albums and profile descriptions, persuading their friends to make the switch to - for the time being my answer will be: “Nothing.”