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Fiddling while Facebook burns

22 Sep 2011

If you’re a Facebook user and you’ve noticed a significant jump in the number of changes being rolled out on the site of late, you’re not alone.

PC Mag notes that since the launch of Google+ at the end of June, Facebook has launched 14 official new features. That’s around one a week.

Are the two connected? You betcha. And it could be only the beginning. 

Google made the war official this week, finally removing the invitation-only sign-up restriction on Google+. Bosses obviously thinks they've done enough to compete with Facebook, even though they still only consider this the network’s beta phase. 

The announcement was perfectly timed, coming as Facebook management prepared to host their annual f8 developer conference. Mashable says it has seen what Facebook will premiere at this event, and predicts it will ‘change the world of social media’.

"The news that will come out of Facebook during the next few weeks will be the biggest things to come out of the company since the launch of the Facebook platform,” writes columnist Ben Parr. 

However, although Facebook has the advantage of incumbency with 750 million users, it is in a way stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

If Mark Zuckerberg so much as rounds the edges of Facebook’s photos users respond with vehement anger. Resist change, though, and Facebook risks looking stale and old-fashioned compared with its newer, trendier rival.

Parr’s hyperboles suggest Facebook has definitely taken the do-or-die approach. If Aaron Sorkin ever writes The Social Network 2, there is a good chance he will set it right now.