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Flocking back to Facebook? Survival question for Google+

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By Noel Young | Correspondent

November 5, 2011 | 3 min read

The inability to keep users engaged has some observers wondering just how long Google+ will be able to survive: That's the challenging proposition being put this weekend on the the website All Facebook.com.

Facebook moving ahead

From the off, Google+ grew faster than any social network, but still may not be able to compete against Facebook in the long term, says an article by a guest author.

All Facebook does not claim to be neutral, describing itself as "the unofficial Facebook resource." But the writer makes a chilling claim for the guys at Google: "The appeal is not sticking because many of the people that quickly flocked to Google + have made their way back to the comfort and familiarity of Facebook."

Google+ was launched into a fiercely competitive environment. Facebook had reached 750 million active users, and both Twitter and LinkedIn were moving fast.

Google+ tried to give users a different experience: there was a new friends system in Circles, a discovery engine in Sparks, and a group video chat tool in Hangout.

Then Facebook went to work with countermeasures , says the All Facebook article. "In addition to combating Circles with Smart Lists, and answering Hangouts with a Skype-powered video chatfeature, Facebook rolled out some huge updates that once again made it the talk of the town."

Most of the changes involved making Facebook more user-friendly, starting with the news feed - designed to present users with posts deemed to be most important to them, as opposed to the most recent updates.

All Facebook Guest writer Aidan Hijleh concedes that Google Plus "still has some attributes that enable it to stand out."

But, he says, . . . "the lack of activity and return visits is a sign that users are having trouble justifying its worth in comparison to what they already have in Facebook."

Google Buzz, launched in 2010, flopped due to a major privacy flaw that accompanied the initial release.

Google+ definitely has more potential than Buzz, says Hijleh. "But should it bomb, it could very well be the last shot at ever touching Facebook in the social realm."

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