Google+ is the latest social network that has been released on the web. As the name suggests, it is run by the almighty Google who owns a whopping 92% of the UK web search market share.
It is currently running in beta on an ‘invitation only’ basis with gmail being a requirement but it has already caused huge hype in the digital world. On a rainy Thursday afternoon we thought ‘hey, why not do a Google+ poll of those in the office?’ Ten minutes later and the survey was up. Here’s a snapshot of our findings from our digital marketing agency (well, those 16 who were in yesterday) and our views on Google+:
- 68% of our office has a Google+ account
- 55% of us who have an account use it twice a week, if not more
- Out of the 68% of us who have both a Google+ and Facebook account, 38% of us prefer Google+
- But… 60% of us think Google+ wont overtake Facebook
Google+ in a Nutshell
Google+ was launched at the end of June 2011 and has been defined by Google as an ongoing social project combining several social services in a convenient collection. It’s rumoured to be Facebook’s new rival but we’ll leave it to you to make your own opinion on that.
One of the main things Google+ does is allow you to segment your online connections by the circles feature. Here, you can group your online connections into circles and then choose when you post information which circles it is visible to. Therefore you can choose what you share and with who, something which is more user-friendly and efficient than creating different friend lists in Facebook.
Your stream is where you’ll see all the updates from people in your circles, much like the Facebook feed.
Hangouts is another main feature which enables real time video chatting online for up to 10 people. You can add yourself to a connection’s ‘hangout’ and ‘hang’ with them in an online real time video chat. Or, if video isn’t your thing you can chat via instant messaging.
Mobile is for mobile sharing. Providing you have the Google mobile app installed on your mobile phone then you can choose to add your location to every post or update you make. Also the feature ‘Instant Upload’ can automatically post your photos to Google+ as you take them.
Will Google+ OvertakeFacebook?
Who knows. The thing is everyone who uses Facebook is used to how it works, with a lot of backlash hitting the social network at the slightest change in layout. 60% of us at Adido think it won’t overtake Facebook as it will appeal to tech people mainly, with the average user (someone who doesn’t work in the online industry) not bothering to create a duplicate profile and list of friends to what they have on Facebook.
Annabel, Adido Digital Marketing Exec: “Why would the average user bother to go through and add all their friends that they have on Facebook again on a social network that is essentially very similar to Facebook? On Facebook a user has years worth of photos, links and videos. The only appeal I can see for the average user is the chance of real time video chatting. Otherwise, people are happy using the clunky but familiar list feature in Facebook to segment which information they share and with who.”
Chris, Adido Lead Developer: “Only techy people will sign up. ‘Normal’ users **might** bother, but won’t stick with it.”
Nikki, Digital Marketing Director: “I can’t cope with another social network on a platform that will take work to build up – for now I am happy with Facebook as my social platform and will not be switching. Though I might have to know more about it for clients and monitoring business usage of the +1 network.”
What We Don’t Like About Google+:
- More domination for Google on the internet (both in search and social)
- Doesn’t offer anything hugely different
- Cant post on your wall, only in the stream
- Not all Facebook friends are there
The remaining 40% of the team at Adido think that Google+ has a good chance of overtaking Facebook. The majority of this 40% said their main reason for liking Google+ was purely because it’s not Facebook! Results revealed that it is the potential of Google+, the clean user-friendly interface and the fact that it integrates into existing counts (e.g. Picasa) which presents it as a threat to Facebook. Also with Facebook’s numerous privacy issues the idea of a new social network from a trusted company is favourable to many.
Joel, Adido Junior Front End Web Developer: “Google is one of the most popular websites on the internet and a very trusted brand. Facebook has let it’s users down far too many times when it comes to privacy.”
Craig, Adido Web Developer: “Google+ will do to Facebook what Facebook did to Myspace. Evolution!”
What We Like About Google+:
- Clean and simple interface
- Segmenting friends into circles
- It’s new!
- Features; huddles, video chat
Our Predictions for Google+
The general consensus from the Adido office is that Google+ probably won’t overtake Facebook, but it does have the potential to do so. We reckon Google+ will continually update its features making it bigger and incorporating more of the elements Google has already developed, and elements that they have yet to develop. If Facebook combats its multiple privacy issues and stays as it is, users will have no reason to leave Facebook. If Google+ offers something unique that the average user is after then there is a chance they may ditch Facebook for Google+.
Andy, Adido Marketing Director :“Google+ will become very popular with the tech audience who are sceptical about Facebook but are bought into the Google brand and trust it. With the amount of users there are on Facebook, it is a huge mountain to try and climb. Given that they have diversified from search into a fully functioning media company, getting this to work will be very important to them as part of the wider advertising piece.”
Mischa, Adido Digital Marketing Director: “It will get bigger and try and incorporate all elements of the current Google landscape, videos, shopping, search documents chat, gmail etc – this will allow people to have a one stop shop for everything.”
For the time being, most of us at Adido are going to keep up both our Google+ and Facebook accounts. 25% of those at Adido with a Google+ account will keep it going in the long term as we’re already using it more than five times a week. However, we reckon in a few months Google+ will have dropped off the radar for the majority of us.
Let us know your thoughts and predictions on Google+ by leaving a comment!