In case you haven’t heard (and in case you have no internet, no cellphone, and no computer), Facebook announced that they would file for an IPO last week. There has also been some interesting speculation on what this means for the startup industry at large.
Every site you visit reads: “Facebook Files for IPO” or “Facebook $100 Billion Evaluation”. It’s unavoidable. But when everyone’s focus is on Facebook, what we really should be paying attention to are “the others.” Where is LinkedIn? Where is Pinterest? And most importantly, where is Google+?
Surprisingly, out of Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn; Pinterest is the leader in referral rates from January 2012. According to Zoe Fox from mashable.com, “Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic, while Twitter barely edged ahead of the newcomer, accounting for only 3.61%.” What this number means is that Facebook is not alone and that people want more than one site to visit. People like options and Facebook beware: there is serious competition.
When it comes to mobile development, LinkedIn takes the cake for best social networking app, not Facebook. LinkedIn has a much cleaner interface and overall the app is more responsive. More importantly, they feature the best news integration of all other social networks. Based on the user’s occupation, LinkedIn can direct relevant news to your news feed via your connections and what your connections’ connections are reading. By doing so, you are brought interesting articles that are relevant to you.
Lastly, Google+ looms closely behind Facebook. While their user statistics are not comparable to Facebook, they do have something else in their arsenal that Facebook does not, being the world’s most popular search engine. When an active Google+ user searches Google for something, their results are skewed in favor of Google+ popularism. In other terms, their friend’s photos and articles are scored more relevant than all other items on the web. It’s good to be the king.
If you had to ask me for the “next Facebook” I’d pick Google+ based on their muscle. Realistic? No. Possible? Yes, and they are definitely going all-money-in to try and accomplish that. Facebook is not alone and the users will decide what they want, whether Mark Zuckerberg and his $100 billion like it or not.