Social networking… Google style

Facebook has been around for a while and was launched back in 2004. It now boasts more than 600 million users worldwide. Users can create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Users can join common-interest user groups, which are organised by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics. Facebook continue to develop new application technologies allowing users to drive more traffic to their page. The majority of big companies who have websites will more than likely have some Facebook presence.

Twitter is a slightly different service. It offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page. Its become very popular with public figures and celebrities who can be ‘followed’ and inform their ‘followers’ of what they are doing or share information at any given time. It can be a great way to release news. If a celebrity has something to say, they can ‘tweet’ it themselves allowing the news groups to follow up on the tweet. It’s no longer news services broadcasting the latest news, it is the individuals through mediums such as twitter.

Google – everyone has heard of them. Its probably where you do  most of your searching on the web.  They have already had a stab at the social networking with ‘Google Buzz’ which was short-lived. Recently they announced Google+ which is Googles attempt to make a bold step into the networking scene.

It doesn’t make sense for Google to copy Facebook or Twitter… They are both very useful in their own right. It needs to do something different. One of the main aspects of Google+ is the ‘Circles’ feature, which is an attempt to help ‘organise’ contacts into smaller, more manageable groups, as opposed to grouping everyone as friends. This means that you can keep your work colleagues in one circle and family in another circle for example. You can share information within them ‘circles’. Couple this with a group chat/video facility, you can see where Google is heading with this. To join Google+ you may have to wait a while as its by invite only at the moment, so that the product can be tested before a full release.

As you would expect with Google, a lot of the marketing is spot with some great consideration on the design and branding. Here in the studio we have had a wave of our contacts making reference to Google+ on Facebook and Twitter. The question is, can it take them on whist offering something new..?

To learn more about Google+ visit –  http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/

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