While it is the natural evolution of a social network to adapt new features which appeal to others on other services, Facebook is facing a quandary. Facebook repeatedly asserts that it isn't worried about the challenge from that other mighty data harvester, Google, but by introducing changes easily comparable to G+ it has confirmed its fears.
Facebook has undergone plenty of changes in its time, not always met positively. However, by forcing users to get used to whatever it imposes, after a couple of months the complaints die down and they are familiar with the tweaks. And that can, potentially, become Facebook's downfall.
Many of the features seem like they've been ported right over from G+. You can't tag without permission, the groups feature has been updated and now there's a preview button. From the get-go G+ called its interactive groups 'circles' and at first glance made clear its policy on privacy.
By introducing Facebook users to these features, whether they like it or not, they are readying their own flock for a mass exodus. People will no longer be put off by what are deemed the complexities of G+. Instead they'll see G+ has already been doing that, but better.
One industry watcher points us to the adoption of Gmail, and the huge demand it received upon launch. Google + is a "restricted new toy, making a lot of people want it more," our source tells us. "This is just a desperate attempt from a company afraid of going the way of MySpace."
And privacy? "Facebook still has licence over the content. That in itself makes the 'privacy' stuff a joke."