Blog posts about Google+
Facebook hit 800 million users – 10% of the world’s population!
200 million Tweets a day are now being sent.
Google+ became the world’s fastest growing social media network – gaining 25 million users in the four weeks since its launch.
So what is going to happen in 2012? Will Facebook continue to dominate the scene or is there another social media platform waiting in the wings to take Facebook’s crown?
There is no doubting Facebook’s dominance of the social media sphere. From a user’s point of view it continues to be the platform of choice for sharing news, photos, videos and connecting with friends and family. With the ease of use of Facebook Ads it is also a marketers dream, having access to a database of 800 million users whose demographics can be broken down to where they live, how old they are and what they like doing.
The one factor that continues to plague Facebook though is privacy. Its default settings are still set to public and there are current issues around users’ details being used without their consent in Sponsored Stories.
In my opinion Facebook will continue to remain a strong player in 2012 – although I can see another big privacy storm blowing up at some point!
As Twitter moves from a small information network to more of a business model, like Facebook and Google, I can see it losing its strength as the ‘alternative’ social media network. Its appeal was in its simplicity. Limiting updates to 140 characters and account branding to a minimum kept it simple and, for those who get it, easy to use.
The recent changes; introduction of brand accounts, promoted tweets and topics will bring Twitter the income it needs to make it a viable business but will it alienate its users?
‘Google’s answer to Facebook’ boomed into existence in the second half of 2011. Its ease of use and familiar feel, as well as the addition of hangouts and the use of circles, has already made it popular, although still only predominantly with those with a professional interest in media, marketing and web. With brand pages already introduced and, no doubt, some form of business advertising not far away this will be the platform to watch in 2012.
Let us not forget that Google+ is owned by Google, who own You Tube. I think Google have lots more tricks up their sleeves to reveal to us all in 2012 that will link these three sites, add to the user experience and make it a one-stop shop for browsing and sharing.
This relatively unknown social media network has the potential to be the underdog that takes off in 2012.
Its ease of use, lovely design, simplicity and privacy give it appeal to the social media nay-sayers and those who are tired of being bombarded by advertising while they are trying to connect with their friends and family.
One thing is for sure, social media is here and here to stay. As the way we live in society forces us to be further apart physically – social media gives us the ability to connect. Human beings are born to communicate and share, and social media platforms give us the ability to do this quickly and easily – just pick the one that suits you best!
After a quiet launch in June by invite only, Google+ is now open to all and has also launched the ability for companies and organisations to set-up brand pages.
Google+ has reached 40 million users in the short time it has been live. Yes it is still a long way off of Facebook’s 800 million, but it is owned by Google, who also own YouTube. 66% of searches in US are done on Google – this major web presence and ability to drive traffic has huge potential in making Google+ brand pages very appealing to businesses.
Google will have to be careful not to flout fairness laws but it would be difficult for the search engine not to push pages in one of its own sites up the search rankings wouldn’t it?
These cross-web affiliations are the key to making Google+ a success. From a marketing point of view the appeal of having a brand presence on a social media platform that can pull upon tools such as Google Analytics for data analysis and have a direct influence on search and sharing capabilities is very alluring.
Alongside this, for the consumer, Google+ is pretty user friendly and not majorly dissimilar from Facebook (What is Google+ and should my organisation be using it). So mass migration of users over to it is not an unlikely prospect.
The only downsides at the moment are that there is no ability to run adverts on the platform to push traffic to pages and there doesn’t seem to be the ability for pages to like pages. I am sure thought that with time these, and many other facilities, will be developed and added.
Yes Facebook and Twitter are still increasing users but in this age we are always looking for the next big thing and Google+’s ease of use and links to the biggest search engine in the world will make it a big player on the social media scene.
Google+ (also known as Google plus and Google circles) is Google’s most recent offering to the social media market.
It is currently only available to those who have an invitation (mostly social media geeks) as a field test. It, apparently, has lots of bugs at the moment that the developers are constantly working on to iron out before it goes ‘live’.
From what we can tell it is similar to Facebook but allows the user to create ‘circles’ of friends so that certain updates only go to certain people you are connected with. E.g. you could have a ‘friends’ circle, a ‘family’ circle and a ‘work colleagues’ circle. I can see this being a popular function as it allows more censoring when doing status updates – so as not to offend Auntie Jean! It also has the ability to jump into an instant online video chat room with selected contacts.
As with all new social media platforms Google+’s success will not happen overnight and will be totally reliant on people signing up to it – any social network is only as good as its users.
I can see that this time Google may have created a platform that has functionality that individuals will find user friendly and more socially advanced than Facebook.
Currently it does not strike as a platform that will work particularly well for business, although time will tell, and I do not think it is in any danger of knocking Twitter off of its perch.
So, in conclusion, one to watch but not to worry about jumping on board with just yet.
Some very good related articles:
- Melanie on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Keith Osborn on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work - Social Monkey on Social Media Workshops
- Social Networking - Why Face-to-Face is still important on Norfolk Tweetup
- Melanie on Norfolk Tweetup