The recently launched Google plus may be able to boast 20 million members but none of these will be businesses. The research firm ComScore reported that 20 million of us have already investigated Google plus in its first three weeks of being launched, with the most members coming from the US and India. Google plus is the latest in social networking sites and Google’s most successful venture into the field yet. Its last attempt at becoming a serious contender in the race to challenge Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was “Buzz”. Buzz wasn’t so much of an overnight success as Google plus as some users contacts were automatically made public, and privacy settings weren’t up to scratch.
Google plus has some similar features to rivals Facebook and Twitter but has introduced the concept of “circles” of different groups of friends. New features also include “sparks, hangouts and huddles”. Launched on the 28th June it was initially invite only which increased its exclusivity and appeal to some members of the public. Some even sold invites to Google plus on Ebay. Members are required to enter their real name and reveal their gender. This was initially made public and therefore it was criticised for lack of privacy. There is also more scope for companies to advertise, in fact the sparks stream can be used to place adverts that are targeted to what the user is interested in, making it all the more attractive to businesses. Members can tailor the site to make it easier to target specific groups of friends, with this aspect appealing to companies.
However, as businesses started to jump on the bandwagon and set up their profiles, Google plus has started to disable them including IBNLive.com and Ford. Google had previously asked companies not to begin establishing profiles as they hadn’t finished designing specific business features yet. Google said that while they worked on the profiles select companies would be given pages in order to trial run the features. Perhaps Google should have sorted out all of its features for its original launch as “businesses have always been early riders on new social media vehicles and Google’s not having an option for business profiles right from the onset seems to be an oversight and now the company is attempting to make amends” (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/google-deletes-business-profiles-from-google/169306-11.html). Not having businesses set up from the outset not only doesn’t look very professional but also holds back the success of the social network. Project manager Christian Oestlien says that “doing it right is worth the wait”. Google plus looks to integrate other tools like Google maps into business pages similar to how their earlier attempts at social networks functioned.
Will Google plus be more successful than its predecessors? Or has the market already reached saturation? Only time will tell if it’s a social network success, and a lot also depends on whether it can get up and running smoothly with all its features fully functioning before losing momentum and public support. It appears to have been an initial hit but whether from curiosity or because it’s genuinely what the public wants is yet to be decided.
Written by Admin– www.bluewoodtraining.com – July 2011