The Value and Timing of Google+

Chris HolmokSo Facebook is great, right? Well, besides the privacy issues… and the horrible “group management”… and the fact that the only way to follow someone is if you both mutually agree to it.
Oh, and Twitter is awesome, too. When it’s up… and if the thing you want to share is only 140 characters… and you get the hang of #hashtags, retweets (RT) and @usernames.
So with as many successful (and more than a few less-than-successful) social networks out there, do we need another? And with all of Google’s false starts into the social realm (Wave, Buzz), can they offer us something of value this time?

Short answers: Yep, and I think so.

Google has built the bulk of its business by pioneering new directions in established fields where established players exist. They did it with search, ad serving, email and even smartphones.

Before Google did search, the Internet had a poorly indexed directory of “browsable” information. It took people minutes, even hours to find what they needed. Now it takes 0.04 seconds to “Google it.” Prior to Gmail, web-based email was a novelty and a convenience. Now Google’s Gmail is taking a bite out of corporate and enterprise email solutions. And before Adwords and Adsense, Internet marketing was a crap shoot for advertisers and an annoyance to users.

With Google Buzz and Wave it seems like one of two things happened that were outside of Google’s wheel house. One, they tried to invent something no one has seen before, and the other is they didn’t have a big commitment behind it.

Enter Google+… Google is back to putting their hands into an established cookie jar. All the signs of previous successes are there: a limited “beta” release that works better and more reliably than the current competition; a “jump into the deep end” commitment, and a useful and seamless integration into their existing successful products.

Here are some recent usage statistics:

  • The largest group on Google+ is of people aged 25-34 (38.37%). Following closely behind are folks aged 18-24.
  • With over 20 million activations, Google+ is the fastest growing social network.

I just got my account less than a week ago, give me a little more time with it and I’ll have more about the actual service to share. Stay tuned!

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