July 14, 2011, 1:34 PM — As the Google+ invasion continues, Facebook is feeling the heat. Although Facebook still has over 700 million users, some estimates say that Google's social network is on track to top 20 million users by this weekend. That's over 1 million new users a day since the service launched
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared to go on the offensive the day Google+ debuted, alerting the world that his company would in turn announce "something amazing."
At the resulting press conference on July 6, Zuckerberg protested (perhaps a little too much) that Facebook wasn't worried about the amazing success of Google's social network. The features he announced that day, including group and video chat, seem clearly aimed at Google+, but appear not to have set the world on fire. What can Facebook do to win back the crowd?
Zuckerberg called the press conference "the start of announcement season," so Facebook undoubtedly has more tricks up its sleeve to compete with Google+. But what kinds of services will Facebook offer, and will the new features really help the site stay on top in the social networking game?
Here are five things we think Facebook could do to cope with the power and possibilities of Google+.
Make New Friends
Facebook certainly has the advantage right now when it comes to user base, but the company can't just pretend that Google+ will follow Google Wave or Orkut and die a quiet death.
As long as the two companies insulate themselves from each other, users frustrated with having to repeat themselves and upload photos multiple times will end up choosing the sleeker social network over the older, tired one. I refer you to the Facebook and MySpace struggle of 2004-2010--except this time Facebook risks repeating MySpace's mistakes.
Instead, Facebook should put differences aside and allow Google+ users to import their friends from Facebook to Google+. Facebook should deal with Google+ the same way it dealt with Twitter: Permit Google+ users to link their updates to Facebook and, in exchange, Facebook opens up its content to Google+.
Imagine exporting your Facebook friends to Google+, organizing them into smaller Circles and a larger "Facebook" Circle, and then updating your status in Google+ with a #fb hashtag (as Twitter allows you to do) to make the update appear in your Facebook news feed.