Social media has “a new sheriff in town” called Google +. Google has gotten into the social media space in a huge way recently and in only 3 weeks has amassed about 20 million users. What is it? How is it different from Facebook, LinkedIn and some of the other social networks? Is there a business application for this? How will it affect online marketing activities? There are many questions about Google + and this post is only an intro to this exciting new online network.
Being the behemoth it is, Google has the existing connectivity to bring a large audience into Google+ and position the platform as a true player in social networking, likely their initial intent - and there's nothing wrong with that! Check out this video on YouTube. It provides a good intro about Google +.
Google + is simply another online social media platform that enables people (and soon businesses) to create different networks (they are called “Circles”) of people you know and want to “socialize” with.
One of the many great things about Google + is that you can create many Circles. You can create a Circle for just your family, or just for work, or just for friends, etc., etc., etc. You can also reach out and “follow” people just like Twitter, Facebook. You can put some people you know into multiple Circles. It’s awesome – you’ve got to get in there and check it out. Just go to https://plus.google.com/#, sign into Google and begin creating some Circles.
Is Google + for businesses who want to brand themselves and gain visibility on this platform? Well, not quite yet but soon to come. It is expected that Google will soon open the network to businesses and they expect demand to be huge. In the short term, if an individual wants to create a Circle comprised solely of their co-workers, this can be done and used as a collaboration tool within the firm.
Google seems to be taking a cautious approach to maintain the credibility of the platform, and I like that. I even read recently that Google is challenging the integrity of some of the profiles being created. Someone by the name of Rowan Thunder was banned from the platform because the name sounded like it could be questionable, and Google has since allowed Rowan in because he is a real, legit person. Facebook seems to have become the “wild west” and it is refreshing to be able to start anew with creating online communications networks with others you know.
What’s ahead for Google +? A lot!!! There’s a good deal of talk about games coming to the platform, and this will be a direct hit to Facebook. Also, the platform is rapidly expanding globally, although the US is by far has the biggest user population. There is talk about photo sharing and event planning features coming to the platform. It seems that Google is coming after the social media scene aggressively and it will be interesting to see how it and Facebook play out. Competition will only make the platforms better for everyone involved.
One last item not talked about too much yet but will certainly have an impact. Since Google has virtually double the market share of any other search engine, having all this information about you and your friends will most certainly effect your search results. I’m certain there will be a great deal of interesting information coming out about this in the future.