Google+ Observations and Predictions

Google+

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After Google’s previous social networking failures – Buzz & Wave – I was a tad skeptical when I received an invite to join Google+. Still, I kept an open-mind, filled out my profile and dove in.

Observations

  • Circles are a master stroke. They offer an easy-to-understand way of segregating who you’re listening and speaking to. Did I mention it’s easy-to-understand?
  • Much of the content still consists of oohs-and-aahs about the packaging. Tips, tricks and tutorials on Google+ take up around 50% of my stream. That’s fine – to a point – but eventually ‘real’ content creation needs to take place.
  • It’s evolving – rapidly. Google has made small tweaks almost every day. They’re truly listening to feedback and want to create a positive experience for the users.
  • E-mail deluge. I’m moderately active on Google+, and with default notification settings I’m getting around fifty emails a day. I’ll probably restrict my notification settings.
  • I’m meeting and communicating with new people like never before.
  • I’ve barely touched Facebook and Twitter. Yesterday, I logged into Facebook to announce I won’t be coming around much anymore – I’ve got a new flame.
  • Guess I better fix my permissions on that Picasa account. Haven’t touched it in almost two years – but there are my old pictures for everyone to see.
  • Commenting and conversations are intelligent. Maybe it’s because everyone is hovering on the site, but I get responses to my posts and comments quickly.
  • After virtually ignoring the +1 button on websites the past couple months, I actually enjoy clicking it now.

Predictions

  • Google+ will be big. Facebook and Twitter will lose some of their dominance. Google+ will join them in creating the ‘Big Three’ social networks. Google+ will skew towards techie-types and be more of a productivity tool than Facebook.
  • Odds are 50/50 on whether Google+ expands into and captures much of the ‘I like playing games and looking at pictures of my family’ crowd. I suspect Google+ will NOT gain traction there, but if they do, they won’t dominate.
  • When ‘Entities’ go live – the roof will explode. Businesses and organizations are clamoring for the ability to create a presence. If the final-product is practical, Entity Pages (or whatever they will call them) will be bigger than Facebook Pages.
  • The whitespace won’t be there forever. Notice all the blank space in Google+? Expect to see ads and new features there soon.

Recommendations

  • Create an account. Now.
  • Don’t create a ‘business-account’. I’ve heard Google is shutting them down when they find them.
  • Get engaged, but don’t be too noisy or you’ll lose followers.
  • Have fun with it. Yes, it can be an enjoyable experience, and Google has shown they are going to let the community help shape it.

What are your observations and predictions?

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Author:Craig Berry

Craig Berry is a Catholic web developer and musician.
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  • Lisahendey

    +1 Craig – great summary and I agree with your predictions!

  • http://www.vmrcommunications.com Hugh Macken

    “Google+ will skew towards techie-types and be more of a productivity tool than Facebook.”
    I agree.

    And I also think, in the US at least, it may draw in privacy-concerned business people (perhaps men more so than women) who work within corporations & large organizations.

    I’m thinking of those, like my brother who works in a large bank, who have joined linkedin but have not jumped on the Facebook bandwagon because of the perception that “it’s just a waste of time / filled with gossip” and because of the restrictions their companies have placed on its use. And also because….the Facebook name just carries with it a ton of baggage.

    Google, on the other hand, has, by and large a respected name in the US. Its failures with social media-ish platforms to date are unknown to the average Jane and Joe.

    Seems to me the idea of hangouts have a lot of potential for business use but google maybe need to call them something else. Or maybe not!   One thing is for sure…it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. I suspect your predictions will be pretty close to right on target (especially the one about whitespace  😉   

  • http://catholicservant.com Craig Berry

    @hughmacken:disqus Absolutely right. Perception is huge when it comes to business adoption. While there IS a lot of gossip/waste on Facebook, many are using it productively. It’ll be interesting to see how much ‘junk’ ends up on Google+. I agree about the ‘hangout’ name being a bit prohibitive for business. Microsoft would probably never call it that.