An article reported by CNN gives an excellent overview of how Facebook and Google+ match up as social networking entities. It provides an overview of Web 2.0 and how consumers contribute to what Lovink and Rossiter call “participation economy”. Media designers are constantly looking for ways to compete with Facebook because it is currently the leading social network. Some users even admit to having an addiction to Facebook. This time spent in mediated interactive environments is characterized in chapter 24 of MMW as technological forms of daydreaming (p.280).
Specifically, the article discusses a key feature of Google+ that designers feel will aid in competing with Facebook; the +1 button. Similar to the Like button on Facebook, the +1 button allows Google to rank websites on its search engine. The article refers to this situation between Facebook and Google as a social war, and points out that Google’s next move is to acquire Twitter. The article later points out the emergence of mobile applications and that Google may have a leg up on Facebook in this regard.
As users are beginning to realize thier productive capacity (Lovink & Rossiter, p. 285), media designers should be cautious of the features and innovations that they introduce and the amount of personal data they require on the networks. This is becoming a major concern due to privacy issues and may cause a decrease in social participation.
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