You’ve seen the hype. The Internet is going insane evaluating Google+ along with its features and uses.
“What does this mean for Facebook and Twitter? Who will win?”
“Do we NEED another social network?”
“What does this do that other platforms neglect?”
And my boss’s favorite, “Why didn’t they launch with business pages?!”
Piecing together what Google+ means for social networking is difficult. Personally, I believe it’s innovative and has tremendous potential.
Early adopters have been quick to hop on the proverbial bandwagon and tout revolution, while others have signed up and run quickly back to Facebook, deeming Google+ a copycat. There have been mixed reviews at Cookerly, and I’m slowly being added by my friends that have decided to dip their toes in the water.
Realizing this isn’t a network meant to push Facebook and Twitter aside is key. There are some significant differences on the new network.
You can clearly define which audience a message is intended for and easily shuffle friends and ‘followers’ into circles. Multi-use hangouts allow users to collaborate and video chat with several people at once. You can follow influencers, share articles with your friends and hold family-wide conversations in one spot. Seamless integration with other Google services is also a perk.
Still, at the end of the day, you still add friends, follow people and share. What makes these differences so innovative that we would divert our valuable social networking time?
Well, we do work in PR and a few reasons are shining through.
How about the +1? The ability to see posts and articles people like (it’s strange using that word) and having Google rank that in search results is fairly valuable in SEO. What about multi-video conferencing and collaboration without use of third-party programs? Invite your ‘Colleagues’ circle to an impromptu staff meeting ‘hangout.’ Quickly switch from your ‘social media’ stream to your ‘journalist’ stream depending on your pitch.
Let’s face it, Google+ is only a few weeks old. We’ve already seen wish lists of additions and heard rumors of new features. Facebook didn’t have all the bells, whistles and pages fresh out of the gate – it was a slow process of seeing what clearly worked (‘poke’ is still around!) Google is actively seeking feedback and molding the platform based on demand, which is a major step for the young network. Business pages are a given, though I’m sure the testing arena wasn’t meant to be as gigantic as what we’ve seen. It’s not a finished product. It will evolve.
I received this question this morning on a blog – “Do you think they have to grow organically to compete long-term or can they buy it?”
My response – “They have built their loyal base from the ground, tapping into innovative ways to connect and contributing to the productivity of its users. Sure not all of them have gained speed, but I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve used Google’s services and codes.
Let’s face it, Google can easily buy their way to the top by snatching up startups and established tech firms, but I think adaptability and ingenuity have helped Google grow is it’s audience from the beginning.”
What do you think the future is for Google+?