A few weeks back, Google unveiled their new social networking website Google+. Their answer to Facebook and just another site devoted to networking people casually the way Facebook has done for the last half a decade.
With so many different social networking sites out there, most people are likely on at least a few of them. MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, various adult sites, and other sites that started out as having their own niche only to expand to include an option to “friend” other members. Each one serves a slightly distinct purpose depending on what the site originated as. LinkedIn is for professionals. MySpace was primarily for musicians. Facebook started out as university-only.
Now you have Google+. A big name that may be the first to rival that of Facebook as far as social giants go.
What a claim to make! Some may say.
I’ll go one step further and say that Google+ will be the primary social networking site in two years.
First of all, Google+ is linked with so much of the Internet already. It’s been prepared for by all of us for awhile now. When Gmail came around and we replaced our Hotmail and Yahoo accounts with that. As Google acquired other major sites such as photo sharing site Flickr, not to mention their other major strongholds like the original Google search engine and Google maps. Pretty much all that’s left was Facebook. If you can’t own it, make it yourself.
By the time Google+ was made, most people already had the necessary requirements for an account. Except one thing. An invite.
When Gmail first came about a few years ago, it was by invite only. Making it that much more prestigious and in demand. People will want in. The longer they wait, the more anticipation that builds. Because of this technique that Google has applied before, it generates attention. It also focuses on one of the most important advertising methods. Word-of-mouth. Or in this case. Word-of-fingers. Not only is attention drawn to the desire to get in on the action but those that are lucky enough to get in are asked what they think about it. If they like it, it’s a huge plus. Anticipation increases tenfold.
What is Google+ even like?
It uses the newsfeed from Facebook but calls it Stream. From here, you can see the latest status updates from your Circles, which are the different groups you can make based on how you choose to divide your social list. Friends, family and co-workers would be most common way of organizing the people you know. There’s a part called Huddle that I’m not yet familiar with but I think it’s some chat thing that may or may not allow group chats and may or may not be public.
I haven’t yet explored the site too much for their privacy policies or what else they have to offer. So far, the interface is pretty clean and basic with the basic offerings of Facebook. I’m thinking they’ll spruce it up over the coming months. Remember when Facebook was completely plain? No? I do. But I was on Facebook back when it was for university students only.
So why will Google+ be the primary social networking site in two years? It has Facebook as a guide. It knows what to avoid. Most Internet-savvy folks already have a google account. If not, the curiosity will make them get one The only ones who won’t move are the ones that still rely on Hotmail, ICQ and Altavista for their Internet needs.