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Will Google Plus be a success ?
Friday, 15 July 2011 20:23
Google Plus logo

Two weeks after Google Plus has been released, time has come to review it and see what this new social network can bring to an already crowded market. Facebook, Twitter, Linked, Viadeo and many others have been running for a couple of years and all have substantial market share in their respective fields of activity.

The question is: how can Google enter this market successfully ? Needless to say that there is no known magical answer to this, every body has his own theory, based on his own experiences and observations.

At first glance, Google Plus seems to have everything needed to succeed: a quite innovative contact management mechanism (called circles) that permits to sort contacts rather precisely (professional contacts, close friends, acquaintance and so on...), a permission management system that takes advantage of this: so for instance you can publish a feed for your friends only. Also the user profile can be different for contacts in different circles, giving users the ability to fully control who can see what.

An instant messaging service is included, a video conference service, a "Wall" to publish feeds that can also be filtered based on circles, so that you can decide to only see your professional contacts' feeds for instance. Google Plus is also connected to Picasa, so that users can manage their photo album and import their already existing one. It is also connected with Google's search engine, by means of the +1 button appearing on each query result.

From a technical point if view, the site is remarkable as we are used to from Google. Pages load instantly, user interfaces are easy to use, easy to read and uncluttered. The only negative point so far is that you really need a large screen in order to use the circle configuration page decently.

Google Plus is then the perfect competitor of Twitter, Facebook, Viadeo, Flickr and many more which might be its pitfall. Concretely, Twitter is an interest based social network, Facebook is a friendship social network (with a fuzzy definition of friendship, granted), Viadeo is a professional social network. The problem with Google is that it has no strategic positioning in this market. This might make people unwilling to use it just because they don't know what it is made for. They might prefer to stay on their current networks just because they know what each is made for.

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