My Space’s Tom Anderson gives Google+ a stamp of approval

August 9th, 2011 by Search Influence Alumni


Okay, so MySpace may be “dead” now that it’s been sold to Specific Media for a paltry 35 million, but you can bet that many of its years of success had something to do with its founder, Tom Anderson. Your first friend on MySpace now has a shiny Google+ account of his own, and he also had plenty to share about the new social network in a guest post on TechCrunch, most of it positive.

The main theme of Tom’s post has to do with Facebook and how it is reacting to the debut of Google+. According to Tom, Google has the advantage. “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+.” Tom says.  “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.”

Tom also alludes to Facebook considering changes to make their feeds real time rather than the current “Top News” setup because of complaints from advertisers and app developers. In fact, Facebook has taken some defensive actions since Google+ launched, which surely shows that they are considering the new social network to be a threat.

Tom also mentions that Facebook gaffed when it came to the way they handled their relationships with developers, and that how Google handles this delicate issue will be crucial to the next step in Google+ development. In fact, he stresses the balance between advertisers, users, developers as crucial, and I absolutely agree — too much in one direction and social networks seem to suffer. We’ve seen plenty of that with past sites such as Friendster, Tribe and even MySpace.

In summary, the social network field is in an interesting place at the moment, with Facebook and all its massive popularity up against Google and its bright new ideas and excellent resources. Google has something of a clean slate on this playing field, while Facebook has made its mistakes. But can Google capture the user base that Facebook has? It seems without those numbers, the key to success still would be out of reach.

What do you feel is key to the success of a social network?