Google+ is another social network, similar to Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and all the others out there trying to make it in the big bad internet world.
Google+ launched on June 28, 2011 and quickly grew. According to a number of news reports, “Google+ was the fastest social network to reach 10 million users at 16 days. It took Twitter 780 days and Facebook 852 days.”
The new social network boasted a USP of privacy. Unlike other social networks, Google+ promises privacy which is executed through a business model banning advertising and a new feature called “circles.” Circles allow users to share posts with only certain groups of users. Users can exclude parents, coworkers and professors from pictures from last night’s party and hide large chunks of content from public view.
More than four months later, Google finally announced business pages for Google+. Business pages, like any other social network, have different features and capabilities than personal pages. Smart social media and marketing employees snatched up business pages and began promoting their business on Google+ this past week.
Now business are saying, hey, we’re here. Now what? Some businesses are taking a stab at “hangouts,” live chats on Google+, to gain customer insight and be more personable than ever. I even saw one business running a new promotion where one lucky winner will get a Google+ hangout with a famous designer. Pretty cool use of the Google+ Hangouts feature if you ask me.
Overall, I think Google+ might offer something additional to other social networks, but the trick is getting people to use it!
Google+ did have a record number of registrations in its first few days, BUT a majority of those users have now dwindled off, gone back to Facebook and have completely forgotten that one Google product that they signed up for. Comments from social media users have included,”Does anyone even use Google+?”, “How does this thing work?” and “Guess I’ll go back to Facebook where my friends are.”
Google closed a number of other products including Google Buzz, Jaiku and Google Code to concentrate efforts on Google+. From friends who work for Google, I have been told that an entire building exists on the Google Campus in Mountain View, California for Google+ employees who are discouraged from interacting with other Google employees.
Google obviously means business with it’s new attempt at a social network, but the question is: is it working?
Images from google.com