"Google Plus is better than Facebook -- at mobile."
Jennifer Van Grove goes on to say the Android tablet app for Google Plus makes Facebook's apps "look as if they were built in the MySpace era," adding: "Mobile is Facebook Achilles' heel, and it certainly doesn't look good for the newly public company to lose to Google in a mobile face-off."
That's especially troubling given that Facebook execs have said mobile is one of the company's investment areas moving forward.
Google Plus's group video chatting feature, called Hangouts, has long been one of the (only) things that made the site fundamentally different from Facebook and Twitter.
The free service lets friends and/or strangers talk in a group. You can also record the conversations and take live questions from an audience, which makes the feature popular with news sites, celebs and politicians. President Obama hosted a Hangout earlier this year.
To drive this point home in adrenelline-filled fashion, Google streamed a video from a skydiver (who was wearing Google's version of "Terminator" glasses) at a recent press conference in California using a Hangout.
"As a social network competing with Facebook it's a flop, but its video-chat tool Hangouts is a winner," Heather Kelly, now at CNN Tech, wrote for VentureBeat in May.
New features and product integrations
Timed with its one-year anniversary, Google announced a few new Google Plus features -- and most of them, as other tech writers have suggested, integrate with Google's other products.
The Events feature, for example, automatically coordinates with Google Calendar. It also lets attendees at a party or gathering post photos from the event and host Hangouts beforehand.
Here's how the company describes the feature in a blog post: "Today's online event tools are really just Web forms that ask, 'Are you going?' Worse yet, they bail when you need them the most: during the actual event, and after everyone leaves. In life we plan, we party and we keep in touch. Software should make all of this more awesome."
A "live slideshow" feature lets hosts display photos from the event as they're taken.
Do you think these updates are enough to save Google Plus? Do you use it? Do you still see it as a Facebook competitor? Let us know what you think in the comments section -- or, if you want to get super meta, on Google Plus.