After my previous post on ‘Should you be on the new social network, Google+?‘ I suggested that it is better to be safer than sorry and sign up to Google+ so that you can hit the ground running if your target audience moves to Google+. But how likely is it that they will? I mean, Google is huge and people use it for all sorts of things, like sharing documents, e-mail, searching the web and managing their contacts and calendars, etc. However, Google doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to social networking ventures, as Google Buzz demonstrated.[youtube_video id=hC_M6PzXS9g width=”610″ height=”370″]
This video got me thinking about it more and it makes a good point that we use Google for so many other things that the power to integrate and share aspects of our online lives should be far easier with Google. Social networking is really just about online interactions around information that we post about ourselves to the Internet, and let’s face it, Google is pretty darn good at managing information!
I wonder whether some people may be put off of entrusting their entire online identity to one company. There are those that get upset by the way that Facebook exploits our information for marketing purposes, so what will those people make of a company that can do that and also link it to information they have about us from all the other Google services we use? The Big Brother debate is an old one and for many people, the benefits of what they can do with social media outweighs the risks / consequences.
I think the most interesting point is that people may not make a choice to move onto Google+, it is more likely to just happen because they want to take advantage of a particular function. It may be that someone where you work decides to use Google+ and Google Docs to set up a group to collaborate on a project; that’s just one of the many ways that people will get sucked in.
The fact that Google+ reached 10 million users in the first 16 days (compared to 780 days for Twitter and 852 days for Facebook to achieve the same) is obviously impressive. I think we still have to watch this space because registered users and active users are two very different things. It’s certainly going to be an interesting year for social networking.