Google actually back-pedalled on 'real name' policy. It has to be a name you are known by, which could be pretty much anything. See will.i.am on G+, for example.
As for Facebook, it continuously pushes its users to put more data in the open, it has been caught selling private user data to advertisers. FB partner sites can access your info just because your friend visited it while logged into FB, by extracting their list of friends (unless you found your way in a myriad of FB privacy settings and clicked all the correct options - and there is no guarantee FB won't come up with another way to screw your privacy over next month). On top of that, FB founder openly called FB users 'stupid fucks'. Tell me how can you trust such company? And what good can your cookie scrubbers/swappers do, if your FB friends tell a lot about you without even realising it?
I am not saying Google is an angel. But it has much better track record when dealing with private user data. Lots of people use Gmail, but a lot more still use Yahoo & Hotmail. FB also has built-in email. And for many people, FB messages have replaced any other form of IM and even email. So Gmail is far from being a dominant email out there.
So, out of the two, I consider G+ a lot less evil than FB, and wish it every success. Don't get me wrong - I'd be more than happy when a better service comes along. But until then anything that changes the current state of things in social networks world is good.
I guess I am a Google fanboy and happy G+ user that wants G+ to succeed. Sorry if the whole post left a 'marketing' taste for you
You guys seriously did not expect Google to have an insta-win over Facebook, did you?
The success of G+ is going to take time, but it will happen. Think about it: you already have an account, one day you'll find someone or something worth following on G+. You'll comment, your friends are going to notice. And believe me, they WILL notice, since there is a G+ cross-integration over the whole array of Google products (Search, YouTube, Docs, Gmail, etc): this black top bar with this red square and number in it will keep haunting you. You'll get hooked in. You'll start checking it out. Eventually momentum will turn. Google cannot and will not give up on G+ now - they have put everything on it. G+ is no Wave, it is no Buzz. The G-train will keep pushing. Until it hits your G-spot (sorry for the innuendo
Google keeps on adding awesome features at the great speed. Facebook will have a hard time to follow due to its size if Google keeps pushing like that. Now that G+ API have been published, the evolution is going to start even faster with input of 3rd parties.
And what can you expect from Facebook in the nearest future? Even more integration with Skype and Bing. Have you really been enjoy these two products lately? Really? FB will keep pushing you to open even more of your private data by default to make advertisers happy. You like that future? Really?
Don't worry, the inert mass that are typical Facebook users will take their time. They will even keep using FB for the next few years, but the tide will slowly turn in G+ favour due to its convenience, simplicity, and speed. One day, while searching for Facebook in Google for 1000th time, average Joes will discover this red square on top, and click it. And chain reaction will start.
Now, don't get me wrong, Facebook will still keep growing and have a very successful IPO at the end of 2012, but after that - the game is on.
I'll leave you with this thought - the fall of a former giant called MySpace also took some time...
Of course, trying to enforce a new open and free standard with all those whining bunch of MPEG owners, their spindoctors, trolls, sympathizers and people confused by MPEG propaganda is not going to be easy. But VP8 (WebM) was specifically designed to avoid MPEG patent violations. The Google backing, WebM has been added to a lot of software and hardware products already. And even more are on their way! Even if MPEG-LA drags Google to court (they would not be the first, nor the last), Google is not a small bunch of software developers that can't afford legal fees, so it would not be easy by any means. Also, if any such patent violations proved to exist, they can be removed in future codec versions with new technology and various workarounds.
So please give a big pat on Google's shoulder for their decision and help promote WebM!