Facebook and Google launch huge updates that change mobile

The mobile social networking space just heated up last night with Facebook andGoogle both launching major updates that could change social networking for good. As I’ve been saying for some time now, the race for the desktop is well and truly over with Facebook winning hands down. However, when it comes to the mobile experience, Facebook is still facing some serious issues and Google+ just launched an app last night that is so beautiful in design and so easy to use, they might just have a chance of getting some traction as a social network.

It is amazing to see so much innovation coming on mobile devices and it’s hard to believe we’re only at the start of this revolution. Here are the big changes to the mobile apps and what it means for you as a user or as a brand.

Google + Just Gave Themselves A Chance On Mobile

You will all know how negative I can be on Google+ and I didn’t expect anything other than an ordinary update to their app last night. But when I tested it out, I was stunned with the sheer beauty of it. The app, which launched on iPhone only (that in itself was a surprise given that Google owns Android), is a completely new social networking experience and reminds me of Path.

Google has already lost the desktop experience to Facebook, but this app brings them to the race on mobile. Although I still doubt that they can steal users away from Facebook, this is easily the best app I have ever played with in terms of functionality and design. It’s absolutely stunning and a joy to use.

Just like anyone else who gets annoyed with the slow experience on the Facebookapp, I loved playing with this because of the sheer speed and responsiveness of it. Having said that, after playing with it for ten minutes, I realised that nobody I really know or wanted to talk to was on the app. The old catch 22 for Google is that their product is the best by far but nobody wants to use it.

Facebook Trying To Take On Apple

Until a year ago, Facebook was more or less locked out of the mobile space thanks to competitors like Apple and Android, but you only have to look at the screenshots to see that they are trying to get in on the action. For the first time ever, app developers will be able to charge for their apps and considering the huge viral distribution that Facebook provides, this could be huge.

Crucially, the way in which apps are listed is changing so that it forms a more seamless experience for the consumer. Instead of apps winning by being noisy or spammy as they currently do on Facebook, detailed listings and suggestions will be served up to you with nice art work. You can read all about the app center hereand it will be coming very soon to Facebook.

Social Networking Leaving The Desktop For The Mobile

What this means for consumers and brands out there is that the shift away from desktop computers and laptops for social networking is well under way. Most people are interacting with these platforms while on the go and Facebook is starting to cannibalise their own revenues as more people are accessing it on mobiles than on desktop. People aren’t going to stop using their desktops any time soon, but the speed of change is gathering pace and it is great to see the big guys embracing these wide ranging changes.

Just because the Google+ app is beautiful doesn’t really mean you should be setting up your brand presence there just yet simply because the number of users there are too small. It could be the app that finally gives the network some traction though and it’s one to be watched. Although Facebook has over 500 million mobile users, the options for brands are limited at the moment, but it’s the space that I would be looking for innovative solutions if I was a brand or business.

Facebook will start offering mobile advertising solutions in the near future and when they tie it in with location, it could power a whole new level of social commerce and grow into an app store that rivals Apple. Interesting times ahead and we are only at the very start of the race. Fire those mobiles up.

via Facebook and Google launch huge updates that change mobile.