Google+ already has over 10 million members and it’s still in an early stage and is invite only. Not only are many people desperately looking to try it out, but they are staying there, taking down their tents and building frames and investing time and energy into creating their
networks circles. Is this all about early adopters (Geeks) and Facebook haters or is this a sign of things to come?
To learn more about the fundamentals of Google+ click here.
I’m willing to bet Facebook is on high alert and here are the top five reasons why:
1. The Experience
The interface is simply clean and fast. The stream runs through similar to a Twitter stream with rich and sometimes even richer (Animated GIFS!) content than Facebook. You can see all your interactions from most Google pages including GMail and Google Search so you can quickly check your notifications without leaving the current page. This is HUGE because in Facebook, everytime you receive a message or a comment you must click to the page where the comment is on or check your inbox which forces you to leave your current page and often the page gets stuck because of Facebook’s immense traffic in peak hours.
2. You can’t escape the Black bar
For the last two weeks everyone has been wondering what this Black bar was all about. First appearing on Google Search, then on to GMail and other Google services this bar has been following us around and as I predicted “weening” us in to the complete Google+ experience.
If you are signed in to Google+ the Black Google services bar turns into your Social Network dashboard. It’s genius, as soon as you sign in you are onto Google+ whether you like it our not, being reminded of comments and people that have added you to their circles.
3. Absolutely Addictive
Google+ is addictive! I’ve found myself checking my stream more often than Twitter and Facebook combined, but why? I’m already used to the Circles, Hangouts and basic interface so that excitement is over. What seems to be bringing me back is actually the types of people on it right now. It’s all Geeks! Unlike Facebook where you have to hear about your old high school classmates “feeling tired from a long day of work” or some other empty expression looking to get a few comments, Google+ has interesting people with great content!
We are looking at the Google+ strategy and realize that it is designed to be addictive and designed to constantly “tease” you. Your notifications are everywhere you Google and every time you check your mail (if you have GMail). I find myself constantly checking who has added me to their circles or who has commented on my latest post. I must reiterate, I don’t need to leave what I’m doing to read my comments or notifications, why not take a little peak….constantly.
4. Early Adopters created a Geek Haven and Geeks lead
The people we call “Geeks” are often early adopters of ANYTHING new. Geeks are also the innovators and leaders of this century so we must not take their enthusiasm with this new social network for granted. From what I’ve seen Geeks LOVE Google+, but will Google+ continue to be a Geek haven? No it won’t, the mainstream will come, but it looks like this service is perfectly capable of taking up the “Social Media time” many people have already set aside. What I’m hearing from Geeks is that this is replacing their Facebook and Twitter time, almost entirely.
Sometimes the Geeks facilitate an innovative atmosphere that celebrities want to be a part of similarly to what happened with Twitter. Remember that musicians are music geeks, actors are sometimes theatre geeks or are just plain geeky and superstar athletes will follow the musicians, pop stars and celebrities to feel a part of the “Scene” and diversify by developing their personal brand.
5. Google is aiming to control the conversation
Google is not only changing the language around Social Networking, they are trying to change the perception of what Google is. Don’t think of Google+ as another service that is affiliated with Google, rather think of it as a complete experience that integrates your entire web experience from your email, to web searches, your favorite sites, your browser (Google Chrome) and eventually even replaces your OS (Chrome OS).
The difference between Facebook is that it is still off on an “island” for the most part. Although it is the largest Social Network (by far), many businesses use Facebook pages, the proliferation of the Like button and Facebook Connect logins, they still don’t own Search which is the foundation (often start page) of most people’s web experience. Google has an answer for all of these services with the +1 button, Google Connect, and eventually Google+ “Entity Pages” for businesses and brands. If the Google+ Social Network can take off, all of these services will become rapidly more relevant.
So if anyone can challenge Facebook I believe Google can because they are about to realign the entire Google experience which has a larger total reach than Facebook. Google is trying to make Google+ at the center of your web experience, and so far I think they’ve done a pretty darn good job.