I don’t want to go near the actual phone-hacking debate as such, but rather touch upon one of the subsidiary events surrounding the enquiry into how much the Murdochs really knew about the sinister goings on at News International. Let’s talk about PieGate, and the Twitter aftermath…
As yesterday’s Parliamentary Select Committee hearing was reaching the end of a mammoth two-and-a-half-hour session, an (at the time) unknown assailant accosted Rupert Murdoch armed with a disposable plate covered in shaving foam. In the wake of the botched ‘attack’ or Murdoch Snr, Twitter was predictably rife with jokes, praise and condemnation for the rogue Cream-Piesmith. But then people started to pick up on a series of tweets by UK Uncut member Jonnie Marbles:
“I’m actually in this committee,” he posted, “and can confirm: Murdoch is Mr. Burns.
“It might be quicker if Baby Murdoch simply listed all of the things that he does know,”
However, Marbles’ final message raised the most questions and eyebrows: “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before. #splat”.
He’s now been arrested and will probably be charged with common assault.But things only got worse following the incident, with Jonnie Marbles’ girlfriend dumped him publicly on Twitter after she tweeted “Not funny. Not clever. Not your girlfriend.”. Who’s eating humble pie now?
A new report from the American Costumer Satisfaction Index shows Facebook scored the lowest of all the social network companies evaluated in the survey, and also the lowest in all three categories – Internet News and Information, Social Media, and Portals – that the ACSI studied. Contrast that with the fortunes of Google+, which is likely to reach 18 million users any day now. But as the old saying goes “there are lies, damned lies, and there are statistics”.
For starters, Google+ wasn’t even included in that particular ACSI survey when it was carried out. But that being said, Larry Freed of ForeSee, the company conducting the survey, pointed out that “Google is one of the highest-scoring companies in the ACSI and Facebook is one of the lowest”. So this all points to Google+ being the ‘new Facebook’, with Facebook potentially becoming the ‘new MySpace’. But when you look at Google+’s growth stats, the picture changes slightly.
Whilst the number of Google+ users is approaching 18 million, the growth rate has dropped by around 50% since its peak after the initial surge in sign-ups when they opened up invites on July 6th. Still, 18 million users is not exactly bad, and it’s only natural that there is a drop off in interest around any major news item after a certain period of time. It’s also worth noting that Google+ hasn’t been promoted by any of its other properties and that the social network is still in the invite-only stages. Once Google+ is given promotion on YouTube or Google.com, its growth may simply skyrocket.
So what does all this mean? I probably have as much of a clue as you do. There may be a mass exodus of people from Facebook to Google+, or there may not. The two may even coexist with people using them for different purposes. Changing from Facebook to Google+ may seem a bit like moving house and leaving all of your memories behind. This doesn’t have to be the case, as thankfully there is a way to bring aspects of your Facebook life with you, and download all of your profile content onto your own computer. What you then chose to do with it is entirely up to you.