For Google the challenge is now principally around allowing users to more efficiently filter their contacts and topics. We are in an era where the sheer volume of information available to us is overwhelming unless we have the ability to organize it by importance, creating more efficient use of our time.
Where setting up credible enterprise collaboration environments requires orchestration and permissions filters to be put in place against relevant governance by dedicated resources, our multiple online social spaces in this overcrowded era are much more like places we are forced to go and visit if we want to meet particular people.
At best Google’s entrance into the social graph market will bring more order, structure and findability to our lives. At worse the distopean world described in Evgeny Morozov’s ‘The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom’ just connected a few more dots, as dismally experience by the Belarusian ‘Social Media’ clapping protestors as they were tracked and led away to jail this weekend.
Overall though greater competition at scale in the social graph market has to be a good thing for consumers.