Ever since Google+ emerged, commentators have been trying to work out who is competing with who in the realtime social world. For my money Facebook and Google+ are locking antlers in the identity/ social fight while Twitter has one eye on both in it’s rear view mirror as it happily gets on with developing the news/ information space.
On both Facebook and Google+ it really matters that you are who you say you are. Real identities are at the core of how both companies are monetising or plan to monetise us. Facebook and Google have set themselves up as the arbiters of identity. Twitter on the other hand couldn’t care less who we are. After all, as I’ve always said and, as Kevin Thau Twitter VP for corporate and business development said the other day: "Twitter is for news. Twitter is for content. Twitter is for information." It’s not for ‘socialising’.
Of course both Facebook and Google+ update in realtime like Twitter, and Facebook’s new Ticker is effectively Facebook’s own Twitter but so what? The whole web is going realtime.