A week ago, Google finally put a bullseye on Facebook with it's "Google +" social media effort. Sure, Google is pretty notorious for putting out half-baked concept products, and waiting to see if they flourish - mostly to find that a good portion of them wither on the fine.
Anyone remember hits like Nexus one? Orkut? wave? buzz? google answers? lively? jaiku?
But with Google +, they seem to have something that might actually stick. So you can begin to understand that Facebook might be a bit nervous.
This week, they introduced their version of video chat, and I think there's a couple of things we can learn from these recent moves.
1. In an experience-rich business environment, stickiness matters.
Facebook has flat out said that they aren't as concerned with signing up new users. They have over 750 million, so I can see why. Their challenge, in their words, is to "give their users more to do on Facebook." What this really means is, "find more ways to monetize our existing client base." It will always be cheaper to maintain your existing clients, than it is to find new ones.
It's true that growth matters, and all of us are looking for more clients, but the reality is - the greatest source of future clients is our existing clients. The more we focus on, and enrich, their experience - the more likely they will refer their friends.
2. Face-to-Face matters.
Have you seen the new Facebook + Skype commercial?
Sure, it's a pretty blatant knock off of the original Facetime ad for Apple
But Facebook realizes that for all the wonder of the virtual world, it doesn't replace face-to-face contact. It doesn't replace looking someone in the eye, and that there is nothing quite like a smile from a friend. What does this mean for us?
I think it means that for all of our technology, for all of our social media skills, and for all of our efforts to create a "real" experience for our clients - the more we connect with a client, the better we can tell their story.
What do you think?