Well, at least to me – to be honest I haven't been on Facebook for three years and did not miss it. I do need a Social Network though – I have tried several other options, just because I like to organize my business contacts and be able to get in touch with them when needed. I don’t need it for my personal life, as I believe in the good old way of staying in contact with my friends and family – which is either I meet them or I don’t and if I don’t over time these “friends” are just gone because let’s face it – they probably weren’t really my friends in the first place.
Anyway – whatever I would do on a social network I do not want to mix my family, my friends and my business contacts. However that is what happens on Facebook to most of the users (because lists are just an afterthought and not in the center of how you organize your “friends”).
So here comes Google+ and promises that everything will be the same as Facebook (it sure looks the same) but different, and I believe Google is the one company that actually could come up with a competitor to Facebook and also being able to overcome the network effect and pull people to their platform. We have seen that before (remember MySpace, Friendster etc. ?) and we always knew it would happen to Facebook too at some point. Of course it will not be as fast as for example the MySpace demise because Facebook actually will fight back (as you can already see with their Skype integration this last week).
But nevertheless it will be only a question of time – and why do I believe in this so strongly? It is just one simple difference between Google+ and others that came before and weren’t successful. The one simple truth is that everyone knows Google. Think about it – there is no way I get to move my parents from Facebook to Service XYZ that no one has ever heard about. But Google? They already know Google – it is actually their Start page. There is no reason for them to leave Google or go to Facebook if they see the pictures of their grandkids on Google+ – Facebook was always an add-on to their Internet experience that was more confusing than helpful.
So – it will take time and possibly there is enough space on the Web for two Social Networks – but the predominant one in 5 years time will be Google+