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Google+ reaches 50-million and Facebook’s counter-strikes

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Better late than never! So, you’ve decided to join us on Google+ after the full launch just a week ago – and now the new kid on the social block has grown to 50-million users since going live publically, which shows a 1269% increase in traffic to the buddy site since it left its incubation stage.

Your Gadget Helpline bloggers have been sat on Google+ since its early stages and it’s not been a lot of fun so far. We’ve enjoyed adding the limited population to our Circles, having Friday Hangouts and playing Angry Birds but we’ve been waiting for more. And we certainly got it over the last week!

We could attribute much a this boom to the atrocious new Facebook News Feed filtering, which was launched the very same day as Google+ and had our pals in uproar when the Social Network started selected posts that it thought were ‘important’ to us and making it very hard to see actual relevant updates.

But as always, Facebook had a counter-strike in the form of the new ‘Timeline’ profile layout. The ‘Timeline’ isn’t publically live yet and is currently in development mode, but many were able to access the new view by following our Gadget Helpline guide and were impressed by the new take and the ability to add life events pre-Facebook to our history (Check out the full details and how to get it – here).

Facebook Music also launched last week at the social empire’s F8 event, detailing the integrated Spotify function which is available by logging into Spotify with your Facebook login and password.

It’s been a see-saw battle of one-upmanship in the formative days of Google+ but Facebook has always been there to pull out the bigger gun. Google announces Circles, Facebook announces specified sharing options. Google introduces Hangout, Facebook integrates Skype. Google gets games (including Angry Birds), Facebook announces it’s optimizing its games.

Facebook’s ability to survive has awarded it its 800-million users and does have a couple tricks up its sleeve which Google+ hasn’t responded to yet. One big difference, for example, is that partnerships with major film studios and television broadcasters has allowed Facebook to deliver video rentals through its ‘credits’ system – but in this ever changing social battlefield we’ve seen that anything can happen. We’d not be surprised to hear that Google are in talks with on-demand provider as we speak.

And maybe, just maybe.. Google+ will one day have a movie made about itself. When that happens you really know you’ve made the world log-in and take notice!

Another weapon in the arsenal of Mark Zuckerberg is the expected announcement of an official Facebook iPad app at the upcoming October 4th Apple iPhone launch event.

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