5 Ways Google+ Can Fight Facebook

August 17th, 2011 by Mattias Tyrberg

Google+ has been out for one and a half month now and usage is growing but is it enough? There are some key features that are missing that would help Google+ to be a better alternative to Facebook. I will not focus on the most obvious ones (such as search, because its coming) but on cool and life changing features that really could make Google+ better than Facebook.

1) Filter posts – Read only the posts that are interesting for you
Reading through the Stream there is a big problem finding the most important and interesting information. Facebook has the “Top News” but in Google+ you only get the most recent news.

Filter by Interest - Google+ with text analytics

The picture show an example of how easy the “Filter by Interest” feature could be implemented in the current UI.

I noticed that my stream get noisy with very few users and I need some type of filter to find the most relevant posts. The solution to this problem is to atomically find the most interesting posts and I want to take this one step further than what Facebook have done. I want to analyse the meaning of the content and based on what it is about show only posts that are interesting for me. By using information such as your Sparks, the posts (and links) you shared and the posts you commented on you can use advanced text analytics to predict the relevance of each post based on the users interests.

2) Automatically Recommend Sparks
The first page you see when you visit Sparks can be more interesting. Instead of getting standard Sparks you should get personal recommendations of Sparks that are interesting for you. As before this can be done using what you have written and commented on plus the sparks you already have and in combination with text analysis this will give you some great recommendations.

Recommended Sparks by interest - Google+ with text analytics

 

Get relevant information on a Spark page
Instead of just show the posts on the Spark-page there is an opportunity to show so much more relevant information. For instance;

3) Related Persons to the spark, showing people that often comment or share information in the area. This makes it possible for persons that are interested in an area to find other people to add to circles and to interact with them.

4) Related Sparks, showing other sparks that are related to this one and makes it easy to find more interesting material.

5) Related Posts, find other posts that are about the same subject/event so you can find out about what have happened before this article was written.

Related Sparks - Google+ with text analytics

The picture shows how related persons, related Sparks and related posts can be implemented in Google+.

Summary
I think there are a few killer features that could be build very easily that would be able to change Google+’s position.
This are my top five
1) Smart filer of Stream
2) Automatic recommendation of Sparks
3) Related Persons
4) Related Sparks
5) Related Posts
Sure there is also an opportunity for Facebook to implement similar features before Google does it. So who will win, Google+ or Facebook?

 

Note: The features are not science fiction they can all be implemented using existing text analytics technologies.