The new social network on the scene, Google+, marks a significant shift with how people communicate across the internet, engage with services and communicate with businesses. Let me explain why…
Google has been attempting to penetrate the social networking scene for the last couple of years. Unfortunately past attempts have failed but now Google+ is making progress. Yet this is not just an attempt by Google to overthrow established networks like Facebook or Twitter. Instead Google+ is designed to socially connect all of Google’s services, much like how Microsoft’s Windows Live services are integrated.
Over the years Google has made a number of notably acquirements; AppJet in 2004, YouTube in 2009, Picnik in 2010 and this year SageTV HTPC software. Look into each of these articles and soon the jigsaw becomes constructed. Google’s acquirements have created some of the biggest names of Google user services; Google Books, Google Documents, Blogger, Picasa, YouTube, Google TV.
Since 2009 Google Profiles lay dormant but it is in my belief Google knew their plan all along. So that their services survive they must be integrated. Why? Because there is no such thing as a fragmented web.
We all love homogenous services, Facebook is the example of this. Yes, it is one social networking but has the option for image galleries, video galleries, blogging/notes (albeit basic but used), email services, etc. Google currently provides completely separate services, the only similiarity is the same Google user login details.
Yet no matter how separate all of Google’s services are they also have a social element. Just look at YouTube, arguably a social network in its own right but any content posted by Google users is absolutely hidden from other services such as Picasa or Google profiles.
Google+ will not only merge all of Google’s products together but also their social elements. This leads me to believe that Google+ is a direct threat to Facebook but could potentially change the way in which we all consume content over the internet.
It is in my belief that the 18 million+ of us who have already signed up to Google+ are using a very different service to how Google+ will behave and appear in the near future. For the moment Google+’s user base is only set to grow but the real question is how long will it be before Google goes ahead with the next step of their plus plan? I think within the next 6 months.