Google’s social media product is just one part of a bigger picture
We’ve been watching Google+ developments in recent days and we’re pretty impressed. Understanding how Google +1 was going to work as their big response to the Facebook Like button was somewhat perplexing but the +1 functionality is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Google have labelled the Google+ project.
Previous failures from Google in the world of social media had many commentators skeptical about Google’s ability to meet the social media challenge. However Google is Google – a company founded just thirteen years ago now owns the verb used for searching on the internet: to ‘Google’ something.
To expect anything short or leadership from the market leaders is naivety on the part of SEOs, online marketers and social media ‘experts’. Early signs have shown that the Google+ Project is going to be successful. In fact on a scale of phenomenal to flop, it’s hurtling ever closer to the former. Google’s latest foray into the world of social media is not just going to have an impact on social media, it’s going to have a gargantuan effect on the way the web, and even the real world, works.
Why is the Google+ Project better than Facebook?
To draw a comparison between Facebook and Google, Facebook ventured into the unknown with a new product which has been tweaked and refined over the course of its lifetime and is still far from perfect. Google starts from a better starting point with wealth of knowledge, resources and importantly the global network.
One major concern is the privacy issues associated with Facebook owning data published on the social networking site has left many apprehensive and skeptical about social media as a whole. Google address this concern in their latest social product by leaving ownership of data with the account holder.
Another downside to Facebook that many people have experienced is the need to create a second account (which probably accounts for a portion of Facebook’s reach), in order to distinguish personal life and business life. Two accounts, why? Of course you can create groups of friends etc. but Google again comes up trumps with Google Circles, an element of Google+ which allows you to separate various contacts of your life in different social circles – effectively bringing the diversity of real world relationships to the internet.
What about Likes and interests? Google Sparks virtually hands stuff to you for you to like, whenever you are ready. Facebook already does this by collating Likes of friends and colleagues so there is no huge difference in this.
Facebook have integrated Skype into their social network but is it a rush job? Will there be glitches? Is it purely a fast tracked effort to try to combat Google Hangouts? Google Hangouts lets people video conference at a virtual hangout – a virtual space for friends to drop by and chat face-to-face. Sounds awesome – as Google put it “Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing”.
But Facebook allows you to upload and share photos directly from your mobile phone or other device! So does Google+ – instant photo sharing and there’s more. Google Huddle is the last of the features Google have officially revealed and it effectively allows for group texting – so no wires getting crossed, no multiple texting, no double checking that everyone got the message.
The Google+ Project will drive the future of the internet
Earlier this year, Google Panda was talked about in the world of online marketing as a major development. It’s not even a drop in the ocean compared to Google+. Google have acknowledged that there is much more to come.
Google+ Business Pages, which we expect to integrate/replace Google Places listings; Google’s city based directories which are already in test mode in the US; the inclusion of travel dates and prices on SERPs for accommodation sites and Google Offers and Google Wallet also on the horizon.
What will the internet look like heading into Christmas 2011?
Here’s a distinct possibility:
Within one of your Google Circles, you have to organise a get-together for Christmas. Google Sparks provides you with a few ideas, which you share with your colleagues or friends, through your Google Hangout before making a decision. You pick a place and notify your attending contacts through the Google Huddle and then discover that your chosen destination is presenting a special offer through Google Offers, which you pay for through Offers or on location through your Google Wallet.
That’s based on what they have shown us so far. Google also says there is much more to come.
Google are not going after Facebook, they’re going past Facebook, fast
Google aren’t going after Facebook and trying to get a share of Facebook’s market. Google are creating the market for themselves. They have created a new category of business which reaches beyond social media – it’s the closest thing to a virtual world we’ve seen yet. In it you can do all the same things as meeting face-to-face – chat, share, hang out, organise events, create social circles and even pay for stuff in the real world.
Facebook’s attempts to block data sharing apps such as Facebook Friend Exporter suggests that they are already on the back foot. Maintaining dominance in social media is likely to get difficult when there is a bigger and better alternative out there.
Being successful in Google’s new world requires huge attention to detail and an intimate knowledge of all the new developments. roi.com.au can help your business succeed in this space, call us today on 1300 650 274.