Saturday, July 9, 2011

Google + | Google's Yet Another Attempt at Social Networking

Its been almost a week now since Google, one of the biggest tech company in the World and the Market leader in Web Search launched their next attempt at Social Networking.. Google Plus.. 

most of you guys out there might be wondering why I said "Yet Another Attempt" in my title.. well this isnt the first time for Google.. as far as my knowledge goes and as far as I found out, Google's first attempt at Social Networking was way back in 2004.. exactly 11 days before the now famous Facebook started.. this service of Google was launched under the name Orkut. its been 7 yrs nw since they launched and its actually been doing pretty good.. Orkut hasnt captured the world over but surely has captured two of the largest markets Brazil n India from where they get majority of the 100million+ users.. Orkut is pretty much doing good.. I too had an account in there.. but I dont remember the last time i logged into that thing except before writing this post to check on whats happening there.. its nt bad. still hav the profile pic that i uploaded for the very first time... layout's pretty neat.. but only god knows why Orkut failed to capture the world's attention..

with that said, 6 yrs after launching Orkut, Google attempted yet again to break into the Social Networking market which was now mostly dominated by Facebook with the launch of Google Buzz in February 2010. Pretty neat feature to embed the social networking with the email service of Google's email service, Gmail. But then that was a total failure. Wonder who designed the Buzz architecture but who ever that was seriously damaged Google's reputation regarding data privacy with all the controversy that poped up after the launch which led to the service ending up as a flop although google never stopped the service but just continued with it just like it did with Orkut.. 

with all that going on the world from Google, rumors started spreading in early 2011 if im not wrong about a new and improved Social Networking service from Google that would pose as a real threat to Facebook. And loadz of information started leaking out at various times about this so called "awesome" social networking service.. but true to their word Google kept their word saying it was not a new and separate social networking service, but it was just adding a "social layer" to their existing services along with a few new features.

now lets talk about Google+ and what are the pro's and con's of google+ and what impact an google+ have on social networking. 

firstly it should be noted that the service is from Google.. what is it that Google cant do on the web.. Google pretty much controls at least 50% of an average computer user's online time... search, email, video.. name it, they got it.. and like the the CEO of Google said at a press meetup sumtime back, Google+ is not a separate social network service but a "social layer" to existing google services.. pretty much what happens here is that all google's existing services will be connected together and brought under so a person who uses more than one service is connected to the other at all times.. it is said thru research publications that an average user spends at least 30 mins a day on facebook.. but this is not going to be the case with G+.. since users dont have to specifically be on one domain to be using the site.. work on your email, do your web search, organize ur calendar or even work on your documents and still be connected to your social network... while typing an email on gmail, if your frnd posts sumthing n tags you on it, u immediately get a notification and you dont even need to leave your email page coz its simple as that to just get a small popover in your browser and view it and close it and continue with your work. this way users are probably going to spend hours on G+..

one thing that many people dont realize is that Google is not anymore a "Search" only service. Google its more than that.. google is a service provider with loadz of services.. this is a major disadvantage for google.. the fact that people or rather noobs still dont know what google is exactly about.. pretty much same case with microsoft.. many think its only the operating system but no one knows that microsoft even has a freaking download manager software.. 

now with that said, and with the launching of G+, it is true that Google is gonna have a tough time trying to get the message out there clearly on what exactly G+ is and in what way it is unique.. ive personally read quite a few articles abt G+ but no one seems to have noted the fact that G+ is a social layer rather than a social networking service. almost 99% of them say its a social network and its not so different from facebook but look at it from a different angle..  this is gonna be a big advantage for google, provided that people out there understand the concept properly. be honest to yourself.. would you waste 30 mins of your life on one site doing pretty much what can be done there only.. or do what you want on 10 different sites and still be connected to your frnds? i would prefer the second option and many working people would also prefer the same.. 

on the other hand, now a days most of the social networking site namely facebook, myspace, linkedin all have a very very very complicated layout. for example on FB, if you want to create privacy settings, u pretty much need at least 4-5 hrs to get everything arranged.. get ur frndlists made.. then understand what each setting is in the privacy settings page.. n then make all that.. its too messy. an average user will rather leave the profile open than wasting time on doing all the settings or get sum1 who knws all that to do it for them (FYI ive done privacy settings for so many frnds so i knw wat im talking abt).. linkedin if u c, its totally messed up.. u dont knw where each thing is.. only good and simple social networking service ive seen out there upto now is Twitter. simple. easy to use.. n awesome.. i dont think some of G+ features seem to b having a FB + twitter combination with their own flavour added..

and next.. be fair... what ever that can be done on a social networking service is already 80% or so out there.. if you cant call G+ being copycats.. i mean calling G+ copycats n copying from FB is lyk saying the english alphabet can be patented to one person.. i mean.. english is a language which millions or rather billions use.. and its jst different dialects n accents of it our out there.. same thing with social networking.. its a service.. anyone can come up with the service.. but what matters is how it is differentiated.. after all, FB cant call themselves innovative can they?? after all Mark Zuckerberg hijacked an idea off the Winklevoss twins when in College.. so its not innovative of Mark but its a crime and then settling the case for undisclosed amounts..

i read in one article saying that FB has 500 million users and that it will take ages for G+ to pass FB's user base.. and another i read saying that G+ has already passed FB's userbase since G+ is jst a social layer n that all google accounts are eligible to activate it and that google has almost a billion accounts.. i actually kinda agree with the second theory.. G+ already has millions of users.. its jst a matter of google publicly allowing all google accounts to switch on the social layer.. and my bet is that at least 75% of those accounts will activate it.. so that makes it doesnt in..

in addition to that, one big advantage that G+ has is Android.. Google's own mobile operating system.. running in over 1000 different products and used by more than 100 million ppl and with a growth rate of 500000 every day.. with the OS, google has the potential to add G+ to the OS jst lyk wat Microsoft is nw trying to do with Live Services n Windows 8. done that and the user base will increase even more provided that the users buying the new devices are not google account holders. with platform in hand and a powerful brand in hand its just a matter of bringing out the right products to make it a hit in the market.

with all this said, a clear judgement cannot be made.. FB is at its peak at the moment.. 6 yrs after it launched, now they are with 750million active users.. G+ is just less than a month old and still in trial testing period.. and within that period itself there is probably a million or close to that number of users in there.. only time can tell if G+ is successful or not as there is a looooot of scope for G+ in terms of development n growth as said above.

as my personal verdict, i find G+ more easier to use and also interesting.. may b becoz im bored with FB or rather im used to google products.. but one thing that attracts me more to G+ and other google services is the simple n elegant design..

with all that said.. i think its time to go and watch G+'s growth and see what impact its gonna do in the web. it may take some time.. but then accept the fact.. its taken 6 yrs for FB to get 750 million users.. give atleast 4-5 yrs for G+ to see if G+ will remain as G+ or will become G-

and if anyone out there want G+ invites, comment ur email address and ill send one to you..

have a nice day then..


No comments: