Google Plus (G+) is just a few weeks old Social Network Site (SNS) from Google and already exceeded 20 million users, despite the fact the new Social Media channel is still in Beta (invite only). It took Facebook good few years to reach 20 million users, so it is fair to say the new SNS is more dynamic. G+ however doesn’t currently compete head to head with Facebook but instead G+ tends to position as another SNS; therefore not an immediate panic attack to Facebook.
From number of observations across different Social Media channels and conversations with various media agencies and comms expert, it seems Plussers are slowly but surely migrating from Facebook; most G+ users are currently active Tweeps using both channels, G+ and Twitter. Many Facebook users already declared their position in G+ circles conversations and relevant conversations on Twitter they will give up Facebook entirely.
Google’s Social Media World
Although G+ is a new Social Media channel but Social Media is not new to Google; either through acquisitions or own built products such as:
- Google Talk
- Google Plus
G+ immediate futures
Yes Google Buzz is not included in the above list because the functionality is now embedded in G+; the old Buzz is now called 1+ (Plus). G+ encourages everyone to use their real name and if the product or security team realise an individual is acting not so appropriately they will suspend that individual’s G+ account; which would affect their G+ registered email address at the same time. Gmail’s Engineering Manager, Mark Striebeck, Google is planning to integrate the service in Gmail.
What Plussers think about G+
G+ is currently in beta and Google hasn’t done much of marketing for it, but people have done a great PR for the newly Social Media channel landed on the earth; everything happens in circles amongst people and by people.
Creating circles and placing people in each and the most appropriate circle requires patience and a bit of creativity in order to make sure of productivity we expect from G+.
People don’t have control over who’s adding them to a circle and even don’t know what the circle they’re in called, they only know that they’re in a circle belong to another Plusser, whose name is obvious.
I was in a roundtable about G+ in London beginning of July; a few people weren’t happy about this that they don’t know the name of the circle which they’re in and they can’t opt out from that particular circle if they don’t like to be in it. We also discuss the ethics and principles of privacy such as the small prints so called terms & conditions and suggestion of including email contacts as soon as one sign up to the service.
We all however agreed on how cool the G+ Hangout functionality is; as we managed to video chat with a few people who were experimenting with service too. I personally anticipate Google will at some point, plan integration of Picasa with G+ for ultimate photo sharing/blogging experience by Plussers – this may happen soon after G+ become publically available.
G+ Photos sharing functionality from is great, however people have concerns over the privacy and security as what they sometimes share can be found on search engines.
The video chat though is not yet there in terms of quality, but sound is slightly in a better state. The deal between Facebook and Skype for video chat may be preferred over the video chat function in G+. It is however not clear if Google used their Google Talk video chat functionally to empower Hangout; but it is surely something G+ working on while the service is in Beta to make sure the lessons learned from Buzz aren’t going to be repeated and G+ to become a global success. Google’s global network is undeniable and this is an advantage for G+ to become a truly global SNS via which, all type of communications one needs to be fulfilled.