Ditching Facebook … for Google Plus?

 

Right now there are four companies vying for our online/mobile lives: Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Facebook is looking at changing the face of the web by interweaving websites with our social lives and the communication we have with our social circles.

Google is using the freedom of information to help us find what we need when we need it – whilst offering hundreds of other services. Meanwhile, capturing all our data on what we read, what we visit, what we say in our emails, what we click and much, much more. Recently, giving social interconnection a real whirl with Google Plus.

Apple is using the mobile web, cloud, music and many other services to identify how we live, share, move, socialise and use technology.

Microsoft is capturing any and all of our interactions in the personal and professional sectors of our lives. From office, to email, to search, to everything we do on a computer.

All of these companies have the intention of owning a space which does not even exist yet. What that space is exactly, nobody really knows…but it operates at the intersection of mobile, search, and social technology.

This realisation has lead to a fight amongst these technology giants – a fight to buy companies and patents - in an attempt to own the future of technological infrastructure; the platform of the future.

Some recent news has got me thinking a lot about how I manage my life online. Facebook’s announcement of modifications to the social platform at F8 have got some great innovations, but also some thought-provoking changes to be aware of as users.

I really like their changes to the Facebook Timeline and Profile Customisations. However, a major announcement is that “you can now browse websites directly from your Facebook profile” without leaving Facebook. To many people this is a WOW moment or GREAT response. To me, that is the scariest thing I have heard since I started using Facebook in 2005! And since I hear other news like Facebook tracking me with cookies - it scares me even more.

This is a fundamental change in the way we use the web. Facebook is forcing us to open every link, every video, every piece of the web directly through their portal. They can track everywhere you go, everything you click, everything you do. Are you happy with Facebook knowing everything about you?

Most interesting, Google has been doing this for ages – so it is nothing new to us. However, Google has always been quite open and transparent with how it uses our information.

Facebook, on the other hand, has been riddled with privacy issues, battles with users, changes without consult and much more.

Right now, the big battle is between Facebook and Google about who owns the web. Facebook is fighting hard for control.

The question I am now asking myself: “Who do I want to own my information?”

Google has always been open and I have a trust in them, their vision and their people. I can’t say the same about Facebook. Fundamentally, this lack of trust is a a major problem for Facebook. It stems from a cultural problem of not respecting users and their data, being profit seeking and not vision seeking.

I am not fond of these changes to the face of the web but I am thinking hard and fast about them. I have lost a lot of trust in Facebook this week, and am considering a full shift to Google Plus as a result. However, I am not a fan of the idea of giving Google ALL of my data, so I may consider splitting who gets it – competition is my best bet.

What do you think of the battle for the internet and our lives? What of Facebook’s upcoming changes?

How will you manage internet usage in the future?

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Opinion | 29. Sep, 2011 | 15 Comments
Justin Scott

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