A Tibetan advocacy group recently held the world's first video press conference via Google+ Hangouts. While the goal might have been to get attention from techies and journalists, it also gave us a glimpse into the future of video conferencing.
What I haven’t seen yet is much discussion about the implications of Google+ for communicators, marketers, and PR practitioners. While it’s way, way too early to be sure of what Google’s latest (and best) attempt to enter the social media party will mean in the long run, it’s not too hard to draw some early conclusions. - Monitoring - Targeting - A company presence - Gamefication - Search engine optimization - Enterprise
It is interesting that Google have chosen to name the mode of friending/following (I’m not sure which it’s closer too yet) ‘circles’ in their new social network Google+. They could just as easily have been called bubbles, but I’m sure they were aware of the negative connotations of giving them that name.
I like Google+, and circles are definitely a far more natural (read: closer to real life) way of interacting with your contacts than the blanket approaches of both Facebook friends and Twitter followers. But the issue of ‘circles’ intrigues me in the context of the filter bubble.
Twitter itself is still self-moderated, I will only follow you if you tweet (at least occasionally) about something that interests me, but Google+ looks to seal off the bubbles we create for ourselves even further. Looking at the Sparks I have set up so far this seems to me to be even more filter-bubble-like.
Has Google+ just made it even harder for brands to enter the filter bubble?
There’s something pretty amazing happening with the early adopters of G+. There’s a strong sense of community, like we’re part of some important social experiment. And newsrooms that can harness this enthusiasm will gain huge early followings on Plus.
By bringing together search and social media in the Sparks results, Google+ will heighten the need to run integrated communications operations. Getting media coverage from mainstream news outlets these days often results in very search-friendly content going online - such as if a daily newspaper puts a story up on its website - but that will be only half the job to get it appearing prominently in people's Sparks. The other half will be having it shared by networks of interested readers, which means both choosing shareable topics and encouraging the formation of those networks.
Google will be even more closely entwining the results of customer service, marketing and public relations - making the costs of having siloed approaches to all three that much higher.
I've been been watching Google flail around social web apps for a few years now, so what I appreciate most about Google+ is that it's a well-thought out product informed by past experience. The more I use Google+, the more I see just how many lessons Google learned from Wave and Buzz, such as: - Don't launch a social product without email notifications. - Field-test the hell out of a social product before public release, with real users. - Don't mess with the Gmail inbox. - Build a product for users first, not developers. - Don't make a separate monolith or an invasive add-on. - Launch with a great, functional mobile app. - Launch with a stupidly awesome "Send feedback" mechanism. - Don't make tech authors want to write a book about it