Google+ is the golden ticket to the chocolate factory of social media

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Social media is no longer just about Twitter and Facebook. Granted, at the time of their release, both of these entities rewrote the rules when it came to sharing our lives online. Facebook made it easy to become a voyeur of the lives of soon-to-be moms who you dated at university; Twitter gave you 140 characters into which you could cram your controversial opinion; and location-based services like FourSquare and Gowalla rewarded you for your loyalty. At the height of Facebook’s dominance in the week of 13 March 2010, more people visited Facebook than Google. It seemed strange that, with all the amazing yet disparate products under its wing, Google was floundering in the social media pyre.

The meteoric launch of Google+ (20-million users in less than 3 weeks) can be seen as the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes of such failures as Buzz and Wave – the word ‘Circles’ immediately comes to mind here. Users are invited to collaborate with whomever they want to include and those who are excluded are oblivious to it, that’s quite a nifty way to manage the message socially. This form of ‘targeted sharing’ is in keeping with their core money-spinner, Adwords, too. More on that later though.

What we can confirm via Joseph Smarr is that Google+’s backend is built mostly using BigTable and Colossus/GFS and that they use a lot of other common Google technologies such as MapReduce which many other Google applications do. What this means, in the bigger scheme of things, is that Google+ isn’t a Facebook killer – it’s a social media game changer, and here’s where some imaginative integration speculation can spice things up:

Google+ and Docs = collaborative publishing on the fly. As more groups of people begin to collaborate on cloud-based documents it’s going to be important to publish information to certain groups (read Circles) as well.

Eventually, different departments within a business could start publishing information within their Circles and could increase their productivity through this efficient means of data dissemination.

Google+ and Youtube = exponential video sharing. The chances of a video going viral increase exponentially when you’ve got influencers sharing with their Circles. With over 20-million potential influencers Google+ is now a very nice home-away-from-home for Youtube. Hangouts also mean increased brand engagement: imagine talking to the Isaiah Mustafah (The Old Spice guy) in real time.

Waiting around on Twitter for your brand to reply to you is going to be so old-school when you’ve got real time brand immersion.

Google+ and Latitude = Foursquare killer. It’s easy to see how having a location-based application like Latitude could fit into a conglomerated social media environment. You can check in, your friends know where you are and, once Google+ allows in brands and businesses, it’s going to be easier than ever for them to do loyalty targeting.

As an aside: If we cast our minds back to November 2010 when rumours of Google acquiring group buying company Groupon were rife we can see the potential in having a group buying application linked to a location based service – this could be a compelling marketing tool for small and medium businesses.

Google+ and Translate = a true social media Babel fish. Ever get sick of having foreign friends who are probably posting the most interesting things, but you can’t understand Swahili? By integrating Google Translate into Google+, we may no longer have to wonder what our foreign friends are saying or commenting about us – it’s automagically translated.

Google+ and Sites = Facebook Fan page killer. There’s only so much you can do to your Facebook page in order for it to stand out from the rest. Not so, if Google+ integrates Sites. The potential for celebrities, businesses and eccentric geeks to differentiate their pages from each other is going to be huge, coupled with the fact that this allows different forms of transactions to occur, from leading generation to crowd sourcing, your ‘site’ on Google+ could cover it all.

And, the real kicker:
Google+ and Adwords = a viable, trackable and ROI effective monetisation model for social media. Gone are the days of trying to justify the value of a ‘Like’ on Facebook or a retweet by an influencer on Twitter, with Adwords contextual targeting advertisers will be able to target Google+ the same way they do with Gmail. Added to this is the kind of demographic data (age, sex, interests, +1′s) that Facebook has previously only been privy to — which makes targeting your ads in a social media environment so much more effective. As an addition, if it’s reporting you’re after: consider that linking Adwords to Analytics is done fairly easily as it is.

In the bigger scheme of things, Google+ is Google’s Chocolate Factory when it comes to being the one-stop shop for all of their amazing (yet currently disparate) peripheral applications. Given a bit more time, these wild speculations could be the death knell for some of the more favoured social media entities.

Image: Sean MacEntee

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  • http://vileyfocus.com VileyFocus

    Google+ July 31st: Goodbye to Private Profiles  http://t.co/HnfgGaX

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  • http://twitter.com/HummerZA Mr. Authentic

    Google + is the golden ticket to the Chocolate Factory of social media http://t.co/to1vpC0

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  • http://www.facebook.com/elias.shams Elias Shams

    This is awesome!!! Here is my 2cents on this whole internet -> search Engine -> Social media things including Google+ and my rational on why there is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the companies about their online connections. A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies:

    - Early 90s: WWW was born…
    - By mid 90′s: millions of sites popped up on the Web…  
    - Mid – late 90s: Yahoo & Google were born to help us to find the right information of the right pages on the Web…  
    - Early 2000: Social media was born…  
    - Late 2000: Millions of pages created by people, companies, and organizations on all these social media channels.  
    - 2011: Deja vu all over again… we are back to early 90’s…  
    - 2012 and beyond…the days of just setting up a website or blog to promote yourself, your talent, your business, and yoursolution offerings AND creating a page for them on Facebook, LinkedIn, are Twitter are O-V-E-R!. Your social media pages and sites should be on a place where the vast number of users and communities can easily find you, learn about you – AND – express their opinion/rate you and your goodies. If you are confident you are selling something awesome, you need the power of the crowd to promote you (and your company) anyway.  
     
    That is why it’s time for the social media space to enter into a new category and I hope my new gig, http://awesomize.me will lead the way!

  • Anonymous

    Great post but I just have to comment that Google Translate is awful. I can’t imagine what it will do to jargon-y, abbreviated G+ posts.

  • http://twitter.com/ctanowitz Chuck Tanowitz

    All this looks great, but Google has never been wonderful at integrating its own properties. Gmail lets me make calls, but in a way that is very different from my Google Voice account. Entering information about my contacts through Gmail is very different from Google Contacts. 

    Also, Google is going to have to make the jump from social-savvy first adopters to the general public. This isn’t an easy leap to make. Facebook overcame that by never actually appealing to the first adopters, but first targeting college students. By the time it became a tech tool it already had utility as a source of information. Google+ is a great source of information about Google+, but not yet for much else. 

    Granted, it’s VERY early and I’m not drawing any conclusions about its potential, but these are not small issues.

  • Andrew Coleman

    Sorry Google+ just doesn’t have anything yet…keep trying.

  • Colin N. Clarke

    Conceptually, Google+ is sitting on a goldmine because of it’s potential for cross-google platform-integration. No question. The challenge will be IF it can lure away users from other SM tools… in time.

    My experience with Google+ so far has been awkward. It’s not intuitive. A grandmother can figure out Facebook. But so far, it takes a little tech savvy and some patience to make Google+ work (granted, this can improve). Facebook and Twitter’s POWER is in sheer numbers. 700 Million (FB) are already there and it’s EASY to connect and network. Swaying that popularity over to a new platform will be tough.

    TIME is key. If Google+ cannot create enough of a popularity shift quickly it will follow BUZZ and WAVE. People won’t have enough time or patience to dabble within yet another network tool, and we’re lazy at heart. It becomes real easy to go back to my established network where I know how to reach everyone. 

    Google+ has POTENTIAL to be great. But can it hang around long enough to actually become popular? The clock is ticking.

  • Colin N. Clarke

    Conceptually, Google+ is sitting on a goldmine because of it’s potential for cross-google platform-integration. No question. The challenge will be IF it can lure away users from other SM tools… in time.

    My experience with Google+ so far has been awkward. It’s not intuitive. A grandmother can figure out Facebook. But so far, it takes a little tech savvy and some patience to make Google+ work (granted, this can improve). Facebook and Twitter’s POWER is in sheer numbers. 700 Million (FB) are already there and it’s EASY to connect and network. Swaying that popularity over to a new platform will be tough.

    TIME is key. If Google+ cannot create enough of a popularity shift quickly it will follow BUZZ and WAVE. People won’t have enough time or patience to dabble within yet another network tool, and we’re lazy at heart. It becomes real easy to go back to my established network where I know how to reach everyone. 

    Google+ has POTENTIAL to be great. But can it hang around long enough to actually become popular? The clock is ticking.

  • Colin N. Clarke

    Conceptually, Google+ is sitting on a goldmine because of it’s potential for cross-google platform-integration. No question. The challenge will be IF it can lure away users from other SM tools… in time.

    My experience with Google+ so far has been awkward. It’s not intuitive. A grandmother can figure out Facebook. But so far, it takes a little tech savvy and some patience to make Google+ work (granted, this can improve). Facebook and Twitter’s POWER is in sheer numbers. 700 Million (FB) are already there and it’s EASY to connect and network. Swaying that popularity over to a new platform will be tough.

    TIME is key. If Google+ cannot create enough of a popularity shift quickly it will follow BUZZ and WAVE. People won’t have enough time or patience to dabble within yet another network tool, and we’re lazy at heart. It becomes real easy to go back to my established network where I know how to reach everyone. 

    Google+ has POTENTIAL to be great. But can it hang around long enough to actually become popular? The clock is ticking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Deb.Krier Deb Krier

    I’m on Google+, but I still spend the majority of my time on Facebook. G+ is definitely interesting, though, especially from a business perspective. FB has always treated business Pages like the proverbial red-headed step-child. If Google fulfills it’s potential, I see businesses moving from Pages to G+ – especially because they’ll have the ability to incorporate all of Google’s other features.

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  • http://digitaladagency.com/ DigitalAdAgency

    Finally Google has a direction for social media; finally Facebook now has competition.

  • http://twitter.com/BSStoltz Brenda Stoltz

    If even one of those things comes
    about, Google’s got a winner. So far, I definitely fall into “the too soon to tell” and “Google still has a hill to climb” club. But I do see the potential if they get it right and it takes off. Excellent article.

  • http://thesocialrobot.com The Social Robot

    Great slant on this discussion. I really liked how you broke down each Google product.

  • http://thesocialrobot.com The Social Robot

    Great slant on this discussion. I really liked how you broke down each Google product.

  • Anonymous

    Great post!

    The fact is, the tools to share on Google+ are significant advances that will push all other social media.

  • http://twitter.com/MyMarketngStaff Staff Member

    Wow, you aren’t kidding. Google + their other properties makes them a threat to be reckoned with. Google has the intelligence, research capabilities and know how to appeal to business. Thanks for sharing this valuable intelligence. I appreciate the quick tips and will be back often. I never knew that social media could be so intelligent.

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  • http://www.augustalistingexpert.com JoeLoomer

    Like Megan – I’m trying to get this down.  I’ve realized for some time I need a bigger monitor on my desktop – now I’m going to bite the bullet and actually GET one (I can’t see all the friends and all the circles at the same time)

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  • Guest

    kinda ironic to see the Like button at the end of the article.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Mondoe/100002938795113 Patrick Mondoe

    I see the great potential with Google + but the question is whether people would be willing to either migrate over to Google+ from Facebook and/or if they are willing to use them both. Maybe people will use facebook for more personal friends, etc. and google+ for more business? http://trumpia.com

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  • Shivam

    Great article! The best function seems to be the Google+ and Translator. If employed effectively it can open great amount of opportunities for people around the world. The world has already become a smaller place due with help of platforms like facebook and twitter. Hope to see more revolutions by Google+
    http://www.socialmedia-optimization.com/ 

  • http://justbeenpaidscam.blogspot.com/ Just Been Paid

    If google can appeal to older ages then Google+ will be a hit.

  • http://twitter.com/designinhabit Esther Louw

    Isn’t Google+ and Sites pretty much just a revival of myspace?

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