Maybe it’s just a quirk of timing but it seems like Facebook’s had a couple big launch announcements recently while Google’s most noticeable activity is dropping their heavily hyped Wave product.
Here’s the comparison:
Facebook’s big news yesterday was that they made it official they were launching, Facebook Places, a service to give them a foothold in the highly competitive geo-location arena against competitors such as FourSquare, Gowalla, Yelp but most directly (especially since a number of the smaller services were present at the launch – wha?), Google.
I found this quote, from the linked FourSquare article, particularly relevant:
The problem for innovative start-ups like Foursquare is that, ultimately, they are just real-world pilot tests for what works. Once a new social concept catches on, though, the Facebooks and Google’s of the world will step in and monopolize it like big box stores driving mom & pop shops out of business.
Facebook Places is not available in Canada yet but they’re working on it:
Facebook is also launching their own social Question & Answer service though I’ll likely stick with AskMetaFilter, since part of what makes AskMF work is that your question goes out to a much wider range of people than just your immediate social circle, increasing the chances you’ll get the answer you want. Here’s an excellent recent example – question and answer.
The Google Graveyard and “Let’s Celebrate Google’s Biggest Failures” are two different takes on Google’s approach to product launch and development but both show a company that’s not afraid to take risks and try new things – not such a bad thing and part of the reason you can’t count them out in the tech battle royal they’re in with Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. (via MetaFilter)
There are some potential positives on the horizon from Google though. Although nothing official has been announced, it is all but confirmed that Google Me, their own Facebook competitor will be launching soon. Then things will *really* get interesting!