I jumped on the Google+ bandwagon right away when in launched in the summer of 2011. I was skeptical at first, mainly because Facebook was the boss (and currently still is). I couldn’t understand how or why Google would want to dive into this arena with a completely new social platform. And then I remembered…
They’re Google. They are doing it because they can.
I’ve been impressed with Google’s commitment to their social network. It seems like they are constantly updating the actual website, mobile and tablet apps, integrating +1 buttons all over the web, and now even adding a G+ button on their patented, well known search engine homepage. The latter point was pretty recent and really showed the world how much they are in this to win it. My G+ connections are right there on my gmail homepage and accessible for chat and/or a hangout (Google+’s group video chat). It’s all integrated and ever-growing.
And Android? Google+ is going to be taking full advantage of the alternative to iPhones. New users to the Android interface will be asked if they want to create a Google+ account right off then bat when setting up their phone.
The prediction right now is that Google+ will have 400 million users by the end of 2012. That would be half of all current Facebook users in only a year and a half. Wow. Took them over seven years to get here.
I’ve said from the get-go that this is going to be huge, and many of my friends and colleagues still think I’m crazy and refuse to get involved. Google has so much power behind it, the two biggest search engines (Google and YouTube) – they control a HUGE chunk of the web.
I’ve felt since last year that Google has been releasing just bits and pieces of Google+ in order to keep us interested, and it will just continue to grow and innovate, chipping away at Facebook. I’m not staying it will overtake Facebook, but it will be right there. And, the audiences are very different right now, so they aren’t really to be used the same way. Google+ is not for event promotions, contests, and sales ploys, like Facebook. It’s a more techy audience that is into the innovation and change, and happy and refreshed to be connecting with folks outside of Facebook. The engagement and interaction between businesses and fans is very honest and open. The G+ folks are pretty into social media. They had to be to dive into a new, unknown platform, right?!
I’ve been a big fan from the start and I still am. I love it for personal use and I love it for business use. Getting in circles is the way to grow your follower base quickly, just another little thing that makes Google+ different and cool.
Looking forward to see where it will be at the turn of the new year.