Should we be comparing Google+ to Facebook or Twitter? Is that a fair assessment of the current state of social?
I’ve been trying out Google+ for a few days now and my first impression is positive. Finally a service allows easy segmentation of your social groups. This one feature is done tremendously well in Google+ with Circles.
It’s obvious that Google has learned from both Facebook and Twitter. Not only on the tech and UI side but also on the PR side. They’ve watched as Twitter has flailed around with a revenue stream and Facebook has lost love with privacy issues. Is that enough?
Google+ vs Facebook
First and foremost the ability to segment people into different groups (circles) is huge. A social network that works the way we work in the real world. Next the look of Google+ feels like a knock off of Facebook. That’s good though. The pictures in G+ are done way better than Facebook has ever done. Also the clear and concise way that things get shared make 100 times more sense than Facebook’s privacy settings.
One question I still wonder is if the older generations would like Google+. I’d say no at this time but it could really catch up in the arena. Also, one thing that struck me recently is that Facebook really monetizes you and your information. On some level I think this bothers people. Your not in Facebook to be advertised too…. it’s not like television where you accept the adverts as part of the deal. IN talking with people I’ve got the feeling that they feel they are being taken advantage of by Facebook in this regard.
Now Google does not have to ever have advertising within the core platform of Google+. Their end goal is to get you to use more of their family of sites. They already are your defacto search location, why would you leave if you could connect with friends, family, and contacts and then use the same service to find information. This is something Facebook has never figured out but will be the core of Google+.
Google+ vs Twitter
This is a tough comparison. First the experience from Twitter is no where near as engaging as Google+. Yes communicating on Twitter is fun and has more of a real time feel to it but it’s simply not as rich. On twitter you don’t get a thumbnail of links, a video player, or even pictures. Sure it’s getting richer but it’s not there yet. Plus most people use some form of client than Twitter itself. As far as the 140 character limit… I think this is a negative factor for Twitter. Many times you have more to say or you actually do want to respond at length.
So in a way the Twitter comparison is not fair for Twitter. It’s a completely different type of network with a different type of feel.
Things to Watch
Here are a couple of things to watch to see where Google+ is going:
- Will a mainstream personality (non-tech) like Ashton Kutcher take to the new service and allow a PR blitz to happen? Will other personalities follow?
- What will the business pages be like? Will they offer a rich experience and allow the same or more functionality as a Facebook page?
- How will Google+ be incorporated into Google’s real time search?
- Is this just a network for techies or is there wider appeal? Will this force Facebook to make changes that will then make it even tougher for Google+ to attract the users who are invested in the social graph of Facebook?
- Will companies like Zynga allow your game data to be ported from Facebook to Google+ once they integrate over there?
I could go on and on but that’s enough to get started. Also if you like the show please comment below or share with your network.