Sean Parker: Google+ unlikely to topple Facebook

He also said his involvement with Spotify is a chance to finish what he started with Napster

For Google+ to unseat Facebook as social networking leader, Google would have to deliver a steady stream of innovations and Facebook would need to let its site deteriorate, Internet icon and Facebook shareholder Sean Parker said on Monday.

Unless those two things happen, it will be very hard for Google+ to become a viable threat to Facebook, Parker said at the Web 2.0 Summit, where he answered questions on stage from conference co-chairman John Battelle and attendees.

"Facebook would have to screw up royally and Google would have to do something really smart," said Parker, co-founder of Napster and Plaxo, and a Spotify investor.

As it is right now, there isn't enough of a motivation for a critical mass of Facebook users to switch their social graph over to Google+, as happened when Facebook knocked MySpace from the leadership position in social networking, he said.

"It's tough to compete with network effects," Parker said.

In his view, Facebook's biggest problem isn't privacy concerns, as many feel, but rather a lack of tools and features to help users manage the "glut" of content their friends broadcast to them.

Parker said Facebook is on the right track with the introduction of recent capabilities for segmenting friends into smaller groups and for managing the content flow, but it needs to do more.

Asked about his involvement as a backer, adviser and board member at Spotify, Parker said the music streaming service represents for him a chance to finish what he started with Napster, the pioneering music-sharing service that record labels clobbered with litigation.

Spotify has started securing licensing deals from the major labels and from hundreds of independent labels, and may in the future introduce a peer-to-peer sharing model in which users can upload their own music to the service, he said.

For example, people could upload live concert recordings they've made, but if and when that happens there will be a legal model with the labels that allows for this to happen, he said.

Parker declined to comment about his new venture, although he confirmed it will be called Airtime, and he also shot down reports that he and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently got into a heated argument over Spotify.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesgamessocial mediainternetFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?