Two weeks ago Google announced it latest effort to get involved with social media, called Google+. Today, Microsoft leaked its efforts for yet another social media network. Are these two efforts too late to battle Facebook and Twitter?
Google+ will offer a high degree of integration with its other social media platforms and this will be the USP to fight Facebook and Twitter. The stream, which looks a lot like the one in Facebook, will be complemented with circles (groups in which you put people), hangouts (your favorite online places) and sparks (bits and pieces of information). And Google claims this is only the beginning.
Microsoft leaked the story about its social network (Tulatip?) built around the Bing search engine to create a social search. However, from the limited information available, Microsoft will not be inventing the network but use bits and pieces from Facebook and Twitter which might be a smart idea.
Back to Google+. As it is fitting for social media platforms, memberships are handed out in small amounts which has lead to a frenzy to get access in the first week or so. Many people were looking for such an “invite”. Getting such an invite meant you are someone in social media land or had the right friends (what a good time to test the “give and receive” attitude). I did not get one till 3 weeks into the process thanks to Roland Legrand from De Tijd.
Though I was disappointed that I did not get an invite, it made me think and ask a number of questions. First of all, is this not just another gadget which we are not waiting for? We are already part of so many social media platforms and networks. Why add another? After which we will complain that we have a lot of work to keep our social media profiles up to date… How much can we kid ourselves? It seems we are looking for more work.
Second, all those people that are looking for such a special “invite” will not be the users of tomorrow. These people are going to “test” Google+ to either break it down to the ground or praise it into the heavens but few will be (active) users in 6 months. Many profiles will die very quickly even if Google claims they have 100 million profiles in less than a month. Who wants to rebuild his/her Facebook/Twitter or even LinkedIn network again on yet another platform. Not me!
As far as I am concerned I am really waiting to see where Google+ will be making the difference with Facebook and the others before I switch. The integration with tools such as Tweetdeck and others will define if and when I switch to Google+.
So I will let Google convince that switching to Google+ will be worth my while and bring VALUE rather than just more work.