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Inside Google +

Annie Wakefield
Digital Marketing Manager
1 July 2011

Google’s new social network “Google +” launched on Tuesday, and I was fortunate to receive an invite. Thought leaders in the digital space are disenchanted with Facebook (advertising, monitoring your every digital move, bells & whistles galore) now that it has caught on with the entire world and have been searching for a new platform. Perhaps Google + is in the right place at the right time?

Is this Facebook for Googler? Not quite. While there is a similar main feed of your contact updates they’ve called “Stream” it seems that Google + is working hard to provide me with content I may be interested in based on signals from my Google Profile & contact connections. For instance, my profile mentions that I like cycling and I’m female hence it suggests the following topics of cycling and fashion to read more about:

Google +’s content initiative can also be seen in their rather sad attempt to incorporate the deflated Google Buzz. Buzz picks up my shares in Google Reader, which is viewable from my profile page, though not from my Google + Stream.

Lastly, Google + has attempted to rejuvenate their Google Wave project which was positioned as “communication and collaboration in real time”, (essentially instant messaging before you hit the “return “ button); live time comments can be added to photos. I don’t see how this AND Google chat will live in harmony on the Google + platform – they are too similar to coexist.

One item I’m curious to explore more is Google +’s use of circles to group friends. I can view my streams by each “Circle” I have.

In short, I think Google + is a bold attempt to combat Facebook with a simpler interface. In a two months time, will digital thought leaders have strayed from Twitter and FB to Google +? Perhaps, there certainly is a lot of excitement about + today. But the lack of adds is eerily out of synch with other social platforms I live on, and the way Google decides to include ads will play a major role in how disenchanted new visitors to the platform may become.

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