For Once, Facebook Looks Vulnerable

Google+ puts its rival on defensive: Rolfe Winkler
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2011 7:35 PM CDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about Video Calling today.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – Facebook unveiled its video chat today with the usual fanfare, but it looked to Rolfe Winkler like a "hasty response" to Google's social networking venture. "Facebook suddenly looks vulnerable," writes Winkler at the Wall Street Journal. "This could be bad news for investors who have recently paid top dollar for stock in Facebook in private sales." The strategy with Google+ reminds him of the way Google rolled out Gmail against then-behemoth Yahoo Mail. Google started small and created buzz with exclusivity, just as it's doing now.

More importantly, it offered a better service. Winkler likes the Google+ concept of organizing contacts into different circles for appropriate sharing. "Ultimately, Google+ is a chance for social networkers to start over," he writes, echoing a point made by others. Facebook remains a powerful company, of course, but it appears that Google+ will keep it on the defensive, writes Winkler. "Mark Zuckerberg might want to fast-track Facebook's initial public offering."

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