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Thread: Google's Latest Attempt at Social Networking: Google+

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    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
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    Default Google's Latest Attempt at Social Networking: Google+

    Refining their design wasn't the only new thing from Google today. Google also made news with Google+ which is their latest attempt at social networking.

    This isn't the +1 button from a few weeks ago, but rather a Facebook like network.

    Hard to know what to think given Google's very poor track record with anything social, but I have to say there are some interesting things in Google+

    Danny Sullivan has a really good review of Google+ at Search Engine Land. Like Danny, I think the name Google+ is awful.

    Here are some videos from Google showing off the new network. They might all be included in Danny's article above. Here's a limited demo of Google+ you can play with.

    A lot of what Google+ is offering is comparable to things you'll find on Facebook, though some of it is done a little differently. The main feature is Circles which lets you organize your friends into different groups and control what you share with each group. Facebook has similar with groups and lists though you might be getting better control with Circles.

    There are some new features like Hangout and Huddle though if either becomes popular you'd think Facebook could easily replicate the features. A lot of Google+ is a but half baked too in that things you'd expect to be included in your profile (like +1) aren't currently included.

    At the moment Google+ is invite only so none of us can sign up. It looks like Google wants to be cautious after taking the exact opposite approach with Buzz. I doubt Google+ will be replacing Facebook any time soon, but it is the most interesting of Google's attempts at social network to this point and I can see it might have some adoption once it's open to the general public. Assuming what happens on Google+ also affects where web pages rank, something more than likely, it'll be something we might all want to pay attention to.

    Read Danny's post and watch the videos to get a good idea of what Google+ is or will be about.
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    They are adding it to adwords. Gotta say I don't understand it. A site or ad voting system?

    https://adwords.google.com/support/a...answer=1152930

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    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
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    That's not the same thing Bill. The +1 button isn't part of Google+ though it's natural to think they would be. +1 is something that shows up on your Google profile and is similar to the Like button of Facebook, except that it can affect search results depending on whether or not you're logged in to Google and maybe who's doing the voting.

    +1 will probably become part of Google+ at some point, but not to start.

    Think of Google+ more like having a Facebook account with friends and a wall, etc and +1 solely as the Like button for a different social profile.

    Here are 2 more articles I came across about Google+

    First a follow up from Danny Sullivan after he got to use Google+ for awhile. First Look: “Hands On” With Google+. I think Danny's post above is better and with more information. This one offers a bit more personal opinion after using the system.

    Second is a long post from Wired, Inside Google+ — How the Search Giant Plans to Go Social. This one looks deeper at Google's attempts at social over the years and makes the case for why Google+ has a better chance of succeeding.

    In the end it'll come down to whether or not Google can get enough people to join and build a large enough network. Naturally I haven't actually used it since it's invite only at the moment, but from what I've seen I think Google may have actually done social right this time. They may be too late to the game, but it looks like they've added a few things that add more value to social.

    For example part of Google+ is something called sparks. It's like Google alerts where you can set some topics of interest and have Google find and send you content about it. Where Facebook has a wall with posts from your friends, Google will offer a couple of tabs. One similar to the Facebook wall with posts by your social network and another for Sparks where the information is pulled from Google's index based on topics you've indicated an interest in.

    Will Google+ succeed. Hard to know. I'm hardly a Google fan and don't really trust the company so I probably won't be running out seeking an invitation. On the other hand I'm not a fan and this looks pretty good to me. I think Google has at least started this new network the right way. We'll see what happens with it.
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    i cant see it getting people away from facebook....it would be like trying to compete with ebay.....anyway it should be interesting..... maybe they will come up with something so tempting we will have to try it....
    i check my facebook several times a day...its very satisfying.
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    Post Impressionist Array vangogh's Avatar
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    I don't think Google+ is about taking away all of Facebook's members. I'm sure you'll find some people who use both. There are people who don't like Facebook for one reason or another so those people might seek out Google+

    Don't be surprised though if people leave Facebook one day. If another network lets people interact with each other in ways they can't currently do on Facebook some will start migrating to another site that gives them those ways. If another social network can crossing some tipping point it could be just as popular as Facebook is now. Remember before Facebook everyone was at MySpace and no one thought they would leave. Facebook is where people hang out today. People will likely be hanging out there tomorrow and next month too. That doesn't mean everyone will be there a couple of years from now. If Facebook has a few missteps or something better comes along people will move.

    One reason to pay attention to Google+ (assuming they manage to build up the network) is it will likely play a significant role in how web pages rank. It's a big assumption to think Google is going to get it right this time, but they have a large user base as is and do have the potential.
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    what i read this morning said google was trying to compete with facebook.... i will be watching for sure....but for now imho...facebook is king...
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    Time will tell, of course. I see some negatives with each social media I have tried. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Although there are nuances, none of them gives me the control I would like. Google+ seems to address some of that, but still not all. I expect that each social media has things in the works, even before Google+ details were announced, to give a greater variety of controls to users.

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    Yeah they are competing with Facebook, but I doubt anyone will really leave Faebook for this. Especially from a marketing or business side.
    Tyler Hutchinson
    CEO at Full Circle Business Consulting
    HTTP://www.fullcirclebusinessconsulting.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Business Attorney
    Google+ seems to address some of that, but still not all.
    That's what I thought too. I think Google is making it easier to group your friends in different ways and have more control over who sees what. Facebook technically has that, but I don't think to the same degree and setting up groups and lists on Facebook isn't as easy as setting up Circles on Google+ At least based on the videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenoak
    facebook is king
    For now they are, but there's no reason to believe they always will be. The only constant in the universe is change. Facebook could make a few serious mistakes or another network could genuinely be better. That's not to say Google+ will be that better network of course. They have a long way to go to even become something that sticks around for awhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by tylerhutchinson
    I doubt anyone will really leave Faebook for this.
    Probably not, but again you never know. Not everyone likes Facebook. Sure they have 500 million users, but that means most of the world isn't on Facebook. Part of the reason everyone is on Facebook is where else are they going to go. This could be another place for people to go.

    Something I'm sure we all know is teenagers rebel. If your parents are on Facebook guess where you don't want to be. All it takes is one or two friends to use another network and guess where all the kids flock. Again I'm not saying Google+ is going to be everyone's new destination, but I think it's shortsighted to think Facebook will always be the only place in town.

    Quote Originally Posted by tylerhutchinson
    Especially from a marketing or business side.
    What if it turns out that a Google+ profile significantly impacts where your website ranks and how much Google traffic you get? I bet if that happen you'll see most business owners running to Google+ Business will go to whichever network has the greater ROI.
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    Here's a really good review from someone who got to use Google+ The review looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    The final verdict of the review is that people looking to switch from their current social networking site will find Google+ a good option, however are people really looking to switch from their current network. This doesn't seem to be a replacement for Facebook and there's probably a little too much complexity for the average user.

    Definitely an interesting read.
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