Guess what! Another social network has cropped up from a little company in California called Google. They call this social network Google+ and it is the first true competitor to Facebook that I have seen so far. Here're a few videos produced by Google to explain the features of Google+:
Google+ Instant Upload
Our Initial Thoughts on Google+
Let me start by admitting that most of us here at protocol 80 are Google fan boys to the max. That being said, we are usually skeptics of new social networks, simply because there have been so many. If I have a dime for every time I saw a new social network announced, I would not be writing this blog post!
For months (maybe years now) we have been asking ourselves, will there ever be a true competitor to Facebook? Up until now, my answer has been no. The launch of Google+ has truly changed my mind.
Small Businesses Want To Know If They Should Bother With Google+
Yes, yes, yes. I know for many of you, it is a real thorn in the side to think that you will now have to keep up with yet another social network. We can relate. It's certainly difficult to maintain an active presence in all of the relevant social media sites. This is one that you SHOULD NOT IGNORE.
Don't Jump In Yet - At Least As A Business
Remember the headache you went through getting your incorrectly setup business profile converted to a business page on Facebook? Google has done a good job of requesting that businesses NOT setup a profile yet. Why? They aren't ready. Heck, people could barely get in last week! They are working on a specific business offering in response to business pages on Facebook. We will surely share info on that when it is available.
Why I Think Google+ Has Real Promise
There are several reasons why I think Google+ has a real shot to rival Facebook. Here're my top 6:
- Google Runs The Web: Do a search lately? I bet you have... Think Google will market Google+ to you on their homepage? I think they will.
- Google Accounts Are a Must: The popularity of Google products like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Maps, etc... will make adding Google+ an easy addition to an already established Google account.
- Integrated Experience: Additionally, Google products will no doubt integrate with Google+ over time, making it a cohesive "platform" for people like me to use. I wonder how many times I have wished that my Facebook messages/feed were integrated into Gmail? It can happen with Google+.
- People Trust Google: Remember all of that shady business we heard about accessibility of profile data on Facebook? Well, some of that exists now in Google+, but in general Google is a highly trusted company.
- Inevitable SEO Impact: You may recall a post I wrote not too long ago about the impact of social media involvement on search engine results. With the amount of information that can be collected directly by Google from Google+, it's a no-brainer that they will eventually use that to help weight search results.
- Android Smartphones and Tablets: Guess who's kicking but in smartphone market share? Yup, Android. With the first Google+ "App"
being launched exclusively for Android, these smartphone users have the first "built-in" experience for Google+. Android users already have a Google account, making it simple to get started with Google+.
What Do You Think About Google+?
We would really like to know what you think about the introduction of Google+ and how it might impact your business. Hit us up in the comments below!