So people like me (Social Media Nerds) think that when a network comes up with new ways to share content and interact with “friends” they’re going to be the next big thing. Turns out, that is just what we want in a kick ass Social Network. The rest of 499 million people of Facebook aren’t as interested in that when choosing a primary social network.
In the days since Google+ has launched and my non-social media nerd friends have been joining I’ve notice a trend. They are in love with the concept of Google+ Circles, the feature that allows you to tag your friends so when you post content you can easily decide who to send what to. A feature that somewhat exists on Facebook but has never been a focus of the site. Circles looks to be the privacy Facebook users were craving. Google found an unmet need and nailed it. Of course this makes sense, this is exactly how Facebook exploded in the first place. It was all about privacy.
Back in the day, (I was young, I’m not a kid any more.) the big social network was MySpace. A site that allowed you to build a killer profile, share content, and become friends with people. Then came along “the facebook”, which was a solution to the biggest complaint about MySpace. On MySpace there were all kinds of people, and any of them could read your profile for the most part, and worse talk to you. (Basically it was getting a rep for having too many pervs on the site.) Facebook exploded because it was private, you controlled your community. Someone had to accept you as a friend to get access to their profile, and you couldn’t even get on the site without an .edu email address in the beginning. Now obviously Facebook has evolved a lot since then… but at the end of the day, the strength of the site was in its original user controlled privacy.
So that brings us to Google+. What the Circles feature offers is all the basic functionality of Facebook’s content sharing but with a layer of privacy, because now a days people have all kinds of people in their networks. And honestly sometimes you want to post pictures from the party last night… but odds are good you want to pick and choose who you show those to. This is where Google+ has a mass appeal.
Plus, keep in mind Google+ isn’t really a social network, but rather a Relationship Management tool. It is a layer over your email, search, and much more. Just like MySpace wasn’t a blog but rather a blogging network, and Facebook wasn’t a blogging network but rather a Social Network. I like to think of Google+ as my personal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Its purpose isn’t to make my world more social, but rather to help me better manage my world. There is too much data in our lives, why shouldn’t each person get a tool to manage/simplify all that data?
Thanks for listening,
Feel free to join me on Google+ +Zach West