Whether or not it succeeds in the long run, Google’s new project, Google+, is a sign of
good great things to come for social media.
Unveiled Tuesday, (6/28),the Google+ Project is the company’s latest attempt to compete against Facebook and other social networks (previous, unsuccessful attempts include Google Wave and Buzz). These former projects couldn’t catch the attention needed to compete in a Zuckerberg-dominated industry and had little success.
This time around, however, Google has delivered and, arguably, will no longer be overlooked when it comes to innovators of social media.
As the official Google blog explains:
Not all relationships are created equal. So in life we share
one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with
our boss… we found that people already use real-life circles to express
themselves… So we did the only thing that made sense: we brought Circles to
software. Just make a circle, add your people, and share
This is what the project is all about– finding the right balance between the various relationships in our lives, and expressing ourselves through them in new, better ways.
Better than those monotonous status updates from a classmate you haven’t talked to in years. And better than getting fired over racy photos you posted because you didn’t realize that Facebook’s privacy controls were altered more often than Lady GaGa’s wardrobe.
Hence, Google+’s circles, hangouts, sparks, and mobile features. All of which emphasize the notion that we interact with different people, well, differently. But that’s okay because firstly, it’s to be expected and secondly, having the ability to do so is a win-win for all. Users are happy. Google is happy.
The best part, however, is even if this project fails to take off, it doesn’t matter. Its contributions into making social media and its users more effective and content are irreversible. The responses it received, across the blogosphere and on every social network, were too big not to ignore. In other words, other platforms are sure to be taking notes on the features Google presented.
If they aren’t, then they don’t realize how significant the material revealed was. You simply cannot ignore what users will naturally migrate towards, especially when it concerns connecting in easier, safer ways.
Because of this, I’m guessing it’s safe to say we’ll see many changes on Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, and other platforms in the near future. To accomodate users who will want to see Google’s ideas implemented into these already established sites.
It’s important to keep in mind through this that social media is driven by what we want. And this is why this project matters– it will change the dynamics of this industry, yet again.
Truth be told, that’s really exciting.
To learn more about Google+ and its features, check out Google’s tour of its new, upcoming project. Keep in mind, though, that only a select few are able to join this network currently. It will be available for all at an unannounced, later date.