Google has done social media very well in Brazil, completely dominating the market with their Orkut service. So when people started saying that Google was nuts for taking on Social Media, it made me ask why?
I like Facebook.
I love GMail.
I share some photos and quotes on FB.
Google sees everything I do.
I use Google’s chrome browser to view FB.
I get most of my FB updates in GMail.
I am also a privacy nut.
To me, that’s not a fair fight when Google would need a blind fold, and one arm tied behind their backs for it to be a close race. So then it must be that the folks who are suggesting it will fail are actually trying it out and making some quick ‘first impressions’?
Here’s the link to get started with Google+. I think you’ll find that it’s rather unlikely anyone is speaking from a hands on perspective given how limited the service is right now. Heck it doesn’t even confirm you’ve been added to the contact list, likely because everyone is still trying to get an invite.
Even if you get an invite and go to the page you’re likely to hit this:
Plus if you are in the trial group, apparently the invites are limited to 100 just like GMail was. EDIT: If you add contacts to a social circle, and then send an message to the social circle, Google + will invite all those contacts to join, without counting them as invites. No doubt that this will only last a few hours before it’s patched however.
So for those without an account here’s some videos showing you what’s coming.
A quick run through all the features in one video for all you TL;DW types.
Social Circles are a brilliant grouping function. On FB we see people either suffering because they have no groups, or suffering to create and manage groups.
Google’s approach with Social Circle’s visual drag n’ drop couldn’t be more simple or clever. Now when you have something gross to share you can drop it on a circle of people that you know will be mortified by your image.
Want to crack an inside joke 90% of your friends wouldn’t get? Make a social circle for the folks who would get it and drop the joke on them.
If social circles was all you had, you’d find yourself making a ton and management would become a chore.
Enter Google + Sparks, an ‘interest’ manager that lets you tune into whatever sparks your interest. If you share something with Spark you can also invite groups of people to push your spark out to. Thanks to Google +1 if you are doing this properly you’ll see it come back in the +1 score.
Google Hangouts is essentially a group video chat. Anyone can start one and friends can jump into any open hangout with other friends. The selling point is ‘unscheduled’ social time, where anyone with any spare time can ‘hang’ together.
As tech gets better, sharing becomes easier. Instant upload is on the forefront of media sharing where all the heavy lifting is done for you, and you’re left with minimal effort to share what matters.
Have you ever planned something with more than 2 friends, quickly? Getting assigned as the ‘planner’ for anything can sometimes ruin all the fun of what you’re planning.
Huddle allows you to quickly pull everyone together and sort out the game plan without any single person taking on the task of planning.
After that really well composed tour I’m only left with a few issues.
- Do I use huddle to plan lunch?
- Should I go see who’s hungry in a hangout?
- Perhaps I need to start a ‘Bacon Cheeseburger Spark’ and see who’s interested?
We have to wait for an invite:
- Waiting really is the hardest part.
- Even if you get an invite you may not get in yet.
- Socializing with 2 out of 200 friends won’t work well.
We need friends to do things with:
- You read this far?
- Lets be friends!
If you’ve found some flaws or see some shortcomings of the Google+ service, drop us a line, we’d love to hear some solid insight into what isn’t great about the new service. I heard Dave on the radio show while I was working on this article, and they were discussing Google+ for a few minutes. Dave was trying to play devils advocate and it sounded like he was really having a hard time shooting it down which is impressive.
Once we’ve had some hands on time with the service we will have more of an SEO insight into what Google+ offers, but for now enjoy the videos and discussion.
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 8:11 pm