Will it replace Facebook? I really couldn’t say. I think it will be DIFFERENT from Facebook. For example, right now, there isn’t an official brand presence on Google+, that hasn’t stopped brands from setting up their presence, brands just don’t have a different presence than people right now. There also isn’t direct advertising on Google+, though there IS a handy search tool called “Sparks”, but its completely organic without any advertising. Will that change? I don’t know. I suspect it will, but that depends on what Google’s end goal is with Google+. That goes hand in hand with the question of whether Google will monetize Google+. Aaaaand, before I could even post this blog, Google announced that there will be a way for businesses to officially have a presence, later this year.
I think that Google+ will have some interesting effects, I think collaboration may happen more natively on Google+ than on other social media sites, which may endear it to creative thinkers who also often happen to be early adopters. I think its going to allow us to better see the information we want to see, while sharing the info we want with who we want. In essence, give us more control. I could go on and on about the “Hang Out” video conferencing feature, but again, before this post could even be posted, Facebook responded with that. So, you see, Google+ is already a game changer. As I said to a friend yesterday: a week ago if I wanted to video conference for free, I had one choice, today I have three. And so it goes.
There is a lot of conversation on the blog-o-sphere and Twitter-sphere from people who I respect, about what you should and shouldn’t do on Google+. Should you follow back?
Should you create a brand page? (Google says it will shut down non-person profiles with the introduction of its business solution). Should you blend personal and professional contacts? Is creating “Circles” to limit conversation the essence of social media? It’s a little wild-westy there right now..and I love it. Google+’s culture is evolving. Its in the hands of the people – its the ultimate intersection of social media: the blending of digital tools and humans. I love watching the different approaches to integrating Google+ into the rest of our social presence. The social element is missing some “OOMPH” right now, but that’s because I think there is more “doing” than “watching” and “responding” right now. That’s to be expected to some degree, lots of us learn by “doing”. I’m one of those people. One thing I have decided to “do”/try is adding #pp to posts that are public in Google+. I think it lets people know that their comments will be more widely read and also lets them know that this is info I’ve shared with lots of people. We’ll see how its received and if something similar catches on.
But having had a week to “do” I think I’m going to follow my own advice. I’m going to watch and listen.
What do YOU think of the Google+ experience thus far?