If you pay any attention at all to such things, you’ve probably heard about Google’s rollout of the new “Google Plus” social network. And if you’ve followed some of the search giant’s other recent product releases (Google Buzz, anyone?), you may have responded with a resounding, “meh.”
That might be a big mistake.
I’ve been on Google Plus for a couple of days now; got an invite from one of my About.com colleagues. I’d describe it as a cross between Facebook and Twitter.
The big selling point is the “circles.” Basically, you can group your contacts into different circles and choose what information you share with each. Ever tried using Facebook for professional networking? And then realized you’ve sent a FarmVille update to your biggest client? So you see why that would be valuable, huh?
Google Plus photo-editing tools are getting positive reviews from many of my colleagues as well.
The negative? Critical mass. Facebook and Twitter are useful because there are so many people in the network. Google Plus can’t compare with either network. But I suspect it will. Once the product is out of the “soft launch/invite only” phase, integration with all the other Google products is going to drive a lot of sign-ups.
As I’m browsing around Google-powered sites there’s occasionally a red notification alert that pops up and immediately grabs my attention. Soon enough I’m clicking through the various notifications and seeing what my friends have shared and who has recently begun sharing with me.
Facebook-killer? I doubt it. Too many people have too much invested in their Facebook networks to up and leave for something new any time soon. But it seems clear to me that Google Plus will be a valuable asset – and a must-have – for anyone marketing a product or service online.
If you’re interested in checking it out, drop me a line. I don’t know how limited the invitation system is, but I’m happy to send one to any client (or prospective client…). Once you’ve joined, look me up at gplus.to/charliezegers