Will Google+ Outdo Facebook?
August 11, 2011
Can Google, the Big Daddy of Internet ventures, feel threatened by Johnny-come-lately social networking site? Yes, it does and takes the challenge right by the horns.
Facebook, which has grown, spread and simply exploded over the web to become the biggest social networking site in history, has outsmarted its predecessors such as MySpace, Orkut, Hi5 and others to become a synonym for networking, sharing, connecting on the web.
It has attracted everyone from grandmoms, who are petrified of the computer to school going kids who have barely discovered the magic of the web to share everything from photographs to breakfast menus with “friends” through ‘status’ messages, interests and albums.
Google: A new edge to search engine results
A popular joke has it that Facebook has toppled the word F*** to become the most popular word which starts with the letter ‘F’ and ends with the letter ‘K’. A few years ago, Google had come from nowhere like a charging bull and toppled the biggest search engines like Yahoo and AltaVista. Such was its impact that the name itself became a generic term for searching and we “googled”. Similarly, “facebooking” is catching on as a generic term for social networking.
Google+: Storming into social media networking
Not to be left behind, Google Inc. has rolled out its own social networking product, Google+, to give tough competition to Facebook. Launched on 28th June, 2011, Google+ is designed to be more private and promises better functionality. It can be easily integrated with your mail and search as well.
Now anyone might wonder what is the point of using Google+ when you are already active on one or two social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter? One of the major advantages of Google+ which can provide it an edge over Facebook is targeted sharing.
Where Google+ may outsmart FB:
‘Circles’ – Share what you want with who you want
Google+ gives its users freedom to share what they want with a particular set of people. Google+ offers a unique feature called ‘Circles’ which allows users to form small groups of people such as friends, family, schoolmates, college mates, colleagues with whom you can share. Social networking will no longer mean putting up all your stuff for everyone to see. You can now decide who can see what and how much.
For instance, if you want to share something with your friends only and don’t want it to be seen by your family or colleagues; you can post it without any hesitation and your status will be visible only to those people whom you have selected.
‘Hangouts’ – The hip new hangout zone is not the malls
Even the way chat is conducted with friends on other social networking sites will be different in Google+. There is a special chat group feature called ‘Hangouts’. You don’t need to ask a friend to join a chat, rather you can enter a video chat room on your own and subsequently a message will be sent to your Circle (which you have invited for chat) informing them that you are ‘hanging out’ and so they too can join you in the ‘Hangout’.
Huddle – The new twist to group chats
Are you making a plan to go to watch the latest blockbuster with your group of friends? Instead of messaging to each friend separately, get into a ‘huddle’. Huddle allows users to have conversation with different people at one place. In other words, Huddle enables you to have group chat with your friends conveniently.
Group chats have thus been given a spanking new look by Google+ from the earlier versions of anonymous chat rooms. For social media enthusiasts, it has all trappings of turning out to be the chill out zone.
Photo sharing gets a new edge
Besides Google+ also offers advanced features to view and edit multimedia. The photo tab will include all the photos you have shared as well as the photos which you have been tagged in. In addition, you can also use the options of image editor, photo effects and advanced privacy options.
Sparks – News feed which is there only if you like it
Then there is another interesting feature called ‘Sparks’. It gives access to you to the articles, videos and other stuff that you might like. So the day when you have nothing to share, and nobody to chat with, you can always read an article, watch a video and you can even share it with your group of friends.
A great tool for web marketing?
Now all these features are surely advanced and unique but will they help Google+ to outperform Facebook? Only time will tell. But surely the feature ‘Circles’ will definitely be a bonus for web marketing professionals.
Facebook and Twitter are widely used for search engine optimization purposes, especially the Facebook Business Page feature is a great tool for connecting with your followers and customers. One can anticipate that Google+ can be used optimally and intelligently for web marketing solutions. Users can share business related information with the particular set of target audience to whom you want to share your products and services.
In other words, you can use Google+ to spice up your web marketing, give a cutting edge to SEO campaigns, build and expand your social media network of fans and followers, push up keyword rankings and search engine optimization efforts and generally be more visible among your target audience.
Facebook may be ruling the social networking world right now but who knows what is in store in future. Now it remains to be seen whether Google+ will become a great platform for advertising and search engine optimization…Wait and watch!