Google Unveils Social Networking Platform
Today Google announced their Google+ social networking platform. The buzz (sic) … in our office is like a bunch of kids at Christmas, hovering outside the living room door, just bursting to get inside!
“Can we come in yet!?”
Before you read the rest of this article here is a video which describes what Google's new social networking (and Facebook competitor) is.
Is Google+ For Real?
In our internet lifetimes we have seen a lot of new and innovative releases. Some that have promised and fully lived up to expectations, some that have survived the trough of disillusionment and made it to stardom and some that have simply wimpered into non-existence. Google itself has produced products that have fallen into each of these categories and the question that we are asking ourselves is;
“Have Google learned enough from Wave, Buzz, Orkut, (and so on) to really engage people with a simple more effective way of socializing that is so compelling that it moves us from our existing platforms?”
Time will tell.
Here Are My Initial 5 Impressions of Google+
1) This launch is a more polished product than usual. The interface and concepts are cleaner and simpler. This will make it easier for early adopters to engage and use. And then share with others!
2) Google+ looks like it will improve some issues within the social networking environment. For example: I hate not being able to post a slightly inappropriate comment on my Facebook feed, way too many of my kids friends go there. Google+ Circles seems an ideal solution for being able to post things that your entire list of friends get to see. (I might be exposing myself here!)
3) I love the thought of integrating search and socialization! My Facebook feed is just as full of Tennis news as it is family news. I love it!
Algorithm based content…. fed from Google into my Google+ based on what I am talking about to my social circles will provide a better user experience for me and I am excited! But I need to have control so I don’t just receive a huge amount of unwanted marketing messages that this new platform will open up on a grand scale!
4) As an internet marketer I see groundbreaking opportunity based on thought number 3. Demographics, social circles, targeting based on the +1 feature that Google is already rolling out. The opportunity here is truly remarkable!
5) Lastly but perhaps most importantly; there is social evolution here! We will have the ability to message, chat and conference with groups of people ad hoc.
Skype + Bing + Facebook = Google+ (in theory).
Keep your fingers crossed….
In summary, if there is doubt, confusion or complexity in a new product like this then it is doomed to failure because no one will spend the time to understand since there is already a great medium in existence.
But it looks like Google+ simplifies and improves the ability to socialize within a familiar Google interface. That’s no mean feat! If the features live up to expectation then we could be looking at an internet changing release that will also provide a huge opportunity for marketers to put a great deal of money into.
As soon as I’m able to unwrap my present….. I’ll let you know whether I got socks (boo), Or the coolest tennis racquet on the planet! (yeh!)
P.S. If someone actually understands what Wave was all about then feel free to drop me a line, I still wake at night wondering. Hopefully I can sleep better with thoughts about Google+. Time will surely tell!
Thanks for the comments Asha and Nick.
I'm getting to grips with the usability of plus and will post more soon. But after an initial delve in I REALLY like the usability and interface. Circles ROCK and plus does make it really easy to share information with relevant groups of people.
I've managed to import my FB friends and just need more people to get invited,,,,
Nick, I've tried hangout casually and it was pretty cool…. I like the idea of just chatting to your circles ad hoc. I haven't seen another group video product that integrates socially as well as this. I love the video sharing feature.. but it was pretty laggy. Will include details in a later post on real usability.
Feel free to connect with me on plus here…. http://bit.ly/jd-googleplus