Google+ thoughts so far

By Nick Holmes on July 18, 2011
5 comments
Filed under Social media

Google+ logo

I’ve to date held off commenting on Google+, which is all of 3 weeks old, because it’s in “field trial” which basically means it’s a Beta with a restricted user base. The reason for this is I think that Goog needs to load test it out amongst modest millions before scaling it up. Consequently the current user base is largely the geeky early adopter crowd. If you want to try out G+ just ask for an invite. I’ll be happy to oblige if I can; the availability of invites comes and goes.

Most commentators talk of Google+ as Google’s new social networking platform, review it in generally favourable terms and compare it to Facebook and Twitter. But I think that misses the point. Google+ is Google’s way of “managing the social space”. Remember “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and it’s already a good way down that road. Google already does “social”; it has hundreds of millions of registered users using and sharing via Gmail, Docs, Reader, Blogger, You Tube, Picasa etc. It did not need to create a new social networking platform; it did not need to tempt hundreds of millions of users away from Facebook, Twitter et al; it just needed to develop an elegant application to join up the dots – and it’s done that.

As Steve Pickering says:

this isn’t just about Google+ (as great a product as that is and will be), it’s about the fact that, with this launch Google has, in effect, reduced or ‘highlighted’ Twitter and Facebook-type functions as mere applications, powerful and important as they are, within a much greater whole, but not platforms. In a sense, they are apps without a platform and Apple is a platform without an App. … let’s not get bogged down by individual features. Let’s look at the big picture. Google is the only company that has all the pieces of the puzzle, and as they bring these pieces together, it will invoke a value proposition that users would be depriving themselves of if they didn’t join.

You may say that Goog is way too big and powerful already, but I still prefer the fact that its platform is the open web, compared to the controlled environments of, say, Zuckernet or the Appleverse:

From All Techie News:

Right now the vast majority of social networking goes on inside Facebook’s walled garden and it’s in Google’s interest to get those users back out onto the open Web. If Google can secure enough consumer uptake, then those hundred million users may well insist that they be allowed to read from and write to any social network their families are on from any interface they choose. Back in the bad old days, you couldn’t call customers of one telephone network if you were a customer of another phone network. That’s where we are on social networking today, but if Google Plus can capture enough users then it could disrupt that whole economy.

For thoughts on how useful G+ may be for lawyers, read Adrian Lurssen at JDSupra.

5 comments

I’ve been sent an invite, I just haven’t plucked up the courage to accept. Yet!

by Michael on 18 July 2011 at 9:42 pm. #

Google’s platform might be the open web, but that doesn’t mean its data is open. I don’t understand in which way this would make Google a contender over Facebook or iTunes.

by Meno on 29 July 2011 at 5:16 am. #

Well, I’ve joined G+ and I need to say that it combines some of the other Google applications. For example it imports automatically your Picassa albums and you have a video/voice/text chat, obviously using the Gmail chat capabilities. I still wait Google docs implementation and google calendar.

Otherwise it’s kind of boring since, what’s “social network” without the people? :)

by Milen on 6 August 2011 at 8:07 pm. #

Personally think Google should stick to search, as what they are best at, as for the social networks, simplicity of Twitter works very well, so expect it’s market share will grow…

by Curry Popeck on 16 September 2011 at 12:01 pm. #

I actually preffer Google+ to FaceBook.
I don’t think 43 million users is anything to be ignored either!

Twitter is O.K. but it’s over-simplification is starting to annoy some people and seems to be more of a one-way haven for business spam.

by AlanFosterK on 10 October 2011 at 2:56 pm. #