Nobody is happier than me to see a little competition in the social media space! In a short amount of time Google+ has more than 10 million new users. Some speculate there will be 20 million Google+ users by this weekend. Some people seem to think that there could be a mass exodus from Facebook (a la Myspace style). My prediction is that if users come from anywhere, it would be twitter. Google+ feels like a cross between Facebook and Twitter to me. The focus is on growing circles, which is similar conceptually to Twitter lists and Facebook groups.
My belief is that Twitter scratches the new people and instant gratification itch, but the character limit can be kind of annoying (esp. for us chatty types). There are services out there that will capture the rest of your tweets, but what about multi-media? Google+ allows you to follow people you don’t know without their permission and make comments. To me this is the best of both worlds! Facebook helps you maintain existing connections, not acquire new ones.
How many of you have accepted a complete stranger into your FB network?… That’s what I thought. 🙂
I’ve always thought of Google as an engineering company, not a marketing one. When we search for something on the web, we say we are “googling it” because there is a level of trust in the results being desirable and relevant. Providing great search engine results is an entirely different world than social media. How many engineers do you know who have overwhelming social skills? Ouch. I didn’t mean it that way! I just mean that this is a product developed by engineers that will probably be used heavily by engineering types (not exclusively). According to Pew research, the twitter crowd is historically more technical by nature than the Facebook crowd.
Pros of Google+
- *Potential integration with other Google services like maps, mail and offers! The power of that could be huge.
- *Meet new people. I have already begun engaging in more meaningful dialogues with people from Twitter who I wouldn’t have otherwise connected with in a deeper way.
- *Get more information from people you already follow. I believe Google+ is a forum where folks can do more interaction than via Twitter or Blog comments.
- *Hangouts are modern day party lines. I dig the multi-video support, that’s just cool.
Cons of Google+
- *No gmail integration (yet?)
- *Where is reader? Google reader is by far my most used service. What a golden opportunity to incorporate all of that aggregated content!
- *Privacy. If your profile is private it gets deleted by end of July.
- *Business. Where does a business fit on Google+? This is not clear yet and Google acknowledges this. CircleClick primarily services b2b companies on the web. How would Google+ work with a client product launch? Aside from putting a +1 button on a blog and hoping it takes off…
My Experience Using Google+
I don’t want say I am a power user or hoity toity expert… But I am definitely not a newbie when it comes to social networking. It’s an understandable thing to want to maintain quality. My online persona has been annebot for 14 years. I will always want to be annebot with every social networking site. Apparently this was an issue in the eyes of Google:
Seeing this kind of ticked me off. I thought if my Google profile could be +annebot+ Wouldn’t that be super cute?
Not what I would call super friendly, but OK. I decided not to push it. Cutting off Buzz is hilarious… Are they going to cut off my Google Wave too?! Hahah!
In summary, G plus feels like a Facebook in Google’s clothing. It is the same basic deal, but more open and with no “likes”. Just go whole hog with a share or a comment and kaboom you are in the game. Plus Google+ serves up no ads (yet). I will definitely keep using this service, despite their community standard sass. This could definitely get interesting, Cheers to Google for shaking things up!