Gini Dietrich

The Google+ Project Is Here

By: Gini Dietrich | June 29, 2011 | 
278

Well, the Google+ Project is here (sort of – they’re rolling it out slowly to high influencers first) and I don’t know what to make of it.

Yes, this is different than +1, which was introduced publicly a few weeks ago. Yes, it (seemingly) is yet another thing you have to try to fit into your life. Yes, this is their answer to Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a beta invitation. I’m looking at the same information as everyone else. But I have to say, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

There are five different projects within the whole: +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile, and +Huddle.

Ai yi yi!

The Breakdown

Circles

+Circles was announced (or leaked?) at South by Southwest this year and this is our first inkling of how it will actually work. It’s really the same as the lists you create in Facebook. You create circles of friends: Family, acquaintances, social media friends, business colleagues, etc. And you drop people into those circles based on the type of information you’d like them to have about you. Then you update them with information, at different times, that doesn’t go to everyone. For instance, I’m very careful about talking about my travel plans online. But I could update my family Circle really easily without fear that a stranger will see it.

Sparks

+Sparks is like the discussion groups of old. You type in a topic of something you love – cycling, food, wine, shoes – and then you share the information you’ve found. Other people, from around the world who share those same passions, can comment and create conversation around your topic. The +1 button is pretty prevalent in +Sparks; it’s used as the “like” button is on Facebook.

Hangouts

The idea behind +Hangouts is you can quickly “hang out” with people who, at that moment, are online. So, rather than scheduling a Skype call or a Facetime chat, you go into your Circles, see who is available and begin chatting on-screen. They use the word “bored” in their promotion; people who are bored can quickly find someone to chat with without having to schedule time.

Mobile

+Mobile is a way to share photos and videos, just like you do on Facebook. But you can share with people in your Circles or, with your permission, Google will upload them to a private cloud where people with similar interests can view them. It’s Facebook + Pinterest.

Huddle

+Huddle is group messaging that allows you to update everyone at once, if there are any changes. So think about evites with a way to update everyone at the last minute should it rain. Or if the location sucks. Or if there is an emergency. This is the most promising of all of the features; it’s not something you can easily do through Facebook.

What Does All of this Mean?

I think the biggest thing they’re saying here is: How you develop your networks is up to you. They’ll never create a new feature and give it to everyone, making you opt out. But it is another social network. Granted you have more control, but while it’s seemingly more private, it’s still Google and everything you say and do online lives on forever.

As soon as I get my beta invitation (if I get a beta invitation??), I’ll do the work to help you figure out if this is for you.

For now, though, it’s just coming soon.

P.S. I recommend watching the videos they have about each feature. You can find them by clicking here.

Join Nate Riggs and the Spin Sucks Pro team on Thursday, July 14, 11 am CDT for a webinar on Blog Style Guidelines: Mastering the Lists.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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278 Comments on "The Google+ Project Is Here"

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douglaskling
douglaskling
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Thanks for the article, Gini. I finally know who to put “Ay Yi Yi” in print!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@douglaskling LOL! I guessed about how to spell it!

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago
Supposedly its Facebook but with Privacy. If that is the case I will close my Facebook account and invite all my friends to Google the day I get an invite. Plus Google has always been Opt In vs Opt Out when they add things. Which to me increases my trust in them significantly. I had hoped it would of been someone else doing this like Diaspora but see what happens when you are late to market. The great thing for Google is everyone has google accounts and I bet they will integrate this with Android and Chrome in ways Facebook… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM You so didn’t read the whole post, did you?! That’s what I said. LOL!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM Oh and yes…you’ll have to use Chrome and it’ll come to the app store for Android first.

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich I read the post just didnt get to the links yet! Now I am not a Chrome fan because I like blocking all digital ads with Firefox. But it works smoother than Firefox. As you can tell I was giddy. LOL

ThePaulSutton
ThePaulSutton
4 years 10 months ago
The way I see it, Gini, Google is focusing on useful features and social tools rather than creating a direct Facebook competitor. It looks to me to be an attempt to bring together search, social and, chiefly, mobile through a platform of different tools, some of which will interest you as an individual, some of which will not. For me, Google+ is an evolution of what Google already does really well and of what’s happening on mobile. And it’s mobile that this could really impact on due to Android. I reckon it’s got HUGE promise and is far and beyond… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@ThePaulSutton In their intro video, they say it’s a competitor without saying the evil Facebook word. And they also talk about the integration with Chrome, so I think you’re right on that one for sure. As a marketer, I think it’s pretty freaking cool. As a consumer, though, it’s exhausting to think about having to build community in yet another place. Facebook works well for me. It may take some pain for me to switch.

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago
@ginidietrich Btw do you know why they have a chance at success? Eric Schmidt left the running of the company. He seriously in my opinion was their biggest handicap. Great manager. Horrible visionary. And he says dumb things. Like when they bought Admob his reason was so they can send an ad for a pizza at 5pm to your phone when you are about to drive home. In Cannes last week he used Moore’s Law to explain internet penetration in the third world. Moore’s law says computing power will double every 18 months and cost half as much. He said:… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM LSD and the money to buy it does damage to the brain.

StaceyHood
StaceyHood
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich It’s the 29th. And thank you! Owe you a hug.

ThePaulSutton
ThePaulSutton
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Not sure it will be a ‘switch’ though, will it? Let’s face it, most of us have Google accounts, so we’ll all connect up pretty easily via Google+. And that’ll open up a suite of other tools that we can use, like Hangouts, for example. My guess is it’ll be used in a different way to Facebook as you’re right, I ain’t switchin’ and I ain’t gonna start piling a load of status updates into Google+ either! :o)

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

“They’ll never create a new feature and give it to everyone, making you opt out….” – Ironically this is why Wave failed. Had they made wave the new version of GMail we wouldn’t be talking about this right now. I’m not suggesting they should have – I’m just saying that was the pathway to mainstream adoption.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@ThePaulSutton I just don’t see myself using both. One more thing makes my eyes want to bleed. But you’re right…I probably will. If only to be smart about what’s going on in the social world. But how many people do you think will do that?

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis Wave was too hard to figure out. We talk about this on inside_pr today: There are A LOT of things you can do with this. It’s not intuitive. Rather than competing with Facebook, why not beat them??

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich @ThePaulSutton To the degree Paul is right, I’ll be using it. I see some benefit that may make my current workflow easier. I do not see people sharing status updates there – but it will make things easier in terms of creating lists of people. They’re marketing around the noise that is twitter and facebook right now. Will be interesting to watch.

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago
@ginidietrich inside_pr The biggest challenge Google has with this is the same challenge they have had with every other endeavor. To 99% of the world Google = Search. They stumbled into an AMAZING business model that helped them make buildings-full of cash. Does that mean they can tap the amazing number of “customers” and pull them in another direction? Clearly no. The only other success they can point to is Gmail. Virtually every other “new” thing they have launched has failed. Don’t get me wrong. I have a great deal of admiration for them and they are innovating like crazy.… Read more »
walkerjsil7
walkerjsil7
4 years 10 months ago

@UKSportsNetwork http://bit.ly/iiONPI

mariongroup
mariongroup
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis

Cool overview. I was starting to get interested and yet taken back that Google was releasing this “new best thing you ever heard off” but then not allowing most people to use it. I see the point of doing that no doubt but like Sean McGinnis mentioned already that really shoots themselves in the foot.

@mariongroup

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago
@Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich Watching the videos it the service makes logical sense to me. Has some features that blow away facebook like the hangout feature, and I think they have a trust factor. Wave I bet is part of the infrastructure because I liked the concept. Remember we all had to join facebook after already having tricked out Myspace pages. In face most people had a significantly higher investment in their Myspace presence than they have ever put into Facebook and they left. So yes if Google can show the value they just might be a contender. But that is… Read more »
ThePaulSutton
ThePaulSutton
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich I agree Sean. As I say, I see it more as a suite of social tools, not a network for sharing status updates (although I’m sure Google would love that). Here’s a thought then: if Google was clever about it, further down the line could they integrate those tools with Facebook and Twitter (like they tried with Buzz but not such a horrendous mess!) to pull people across? Or is that a wild, fanciful and ultimately stoopid suggestion…?!

HLeichsenring
HLeichsenring
4 years 10 months ago

Thanks for the great summary of the “new” Google project

Kind regards from Germany

Hansjörg

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@mariongroup @Sean McGinnis Facebook did this the exact same way! You needed a real college email address it was only for college students. In fact because it was closed and private that is why it was important to college students. It was only 2 years ago that Facebook migrated from a communication platform to an exploit the users for marketing purposes platform. Something B-Schools will be studying for decades as a business model blunder.

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich @ThePaulSutton @Sean McGinnis I had a Friendster Network. Then Myspace. Then Facebook. Then Twitter. The two most painful for me to change will be Twitter and Myspace hurt a lot because of my passion for music. Facebook is not a music platform like Myspace was. Also facebook is funny. I connected with a ton of old friends on Facebook only to never talk with them again after connecting LOL

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Or maybe he is one of those rare people that is so freaking smart they seem not smart when they talk?

mariongroup
mariongroup
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM @Sean McGinnis

True FB was a closed model when it started but I think the overall view of Social Media has changed since FB started. Not sure who said it here on another comment but I guess its all about how much value they give. I love Social Media but Im not loyal to Facebook. We use it and it has its value but Google+ may present just as much value….maybe even without all the downsides.

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@mariongroup @HowieSPM The big question is will consumers agree with this view? 80% of people (made up statistic) don;t care about the privacy issues. Zuckerberg is right with that one.

I’m interested in your view about the current decline and blunders of facebook Howie. I’m of the opinion that the facebook success is what will be studied by B schools – and that success was based almost entirely on opening up the platform to external developers, the same that Apple did with the app store.

amfunderburk1
amfunderburk1
4 years 10 months ago

@k8_j I think it is a great idea. I’m very interested to see what happens with it. cc: @ginidietrich #prstudchat #prssa #pr20chat

pouchikuuth4
pouchikuuth4
4 years 10 months ago
Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM @ginidietrich @ThePaulSutton Awesome. My pal and biz partner w 12 Most @danielnewmanUV is fond of saying:

“Twitter makes me love people I never even knew. Facebook makes me hate the ones I already know.”

faybiz
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis @mariongroup @HowieSPM to me the closed invite system worked with Gmail and they are going BACK to that model instead of the Buzz/Wave model of here it is use it (develops some fanatics/ builds buzz/creates apostles)

Also is essentially a large beta, which they are “out” of but still nice to have

the success relies not on privacy as much as people are sick of the difficulties of parsing their facebook “friends” down- there are no “circles” there…

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@faybiz @mariongroup @HowieSPM Ironic insofar as I was complaining just within the last several weeks that I wanted Facebook to fully implement “lists” a la twitter. Would be very easy to do and could use a tabbed approach like tweetdeck or Hootsuite. Would make facebook MUCH more useful to me.

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis @mariongroup I agree and disagree Sean. We know Twitter is public and behave (most of us) in a certain way on the network. Facebook is different. Over 70% of all facebook accounts are 100% private. Including the accounts of most Social Media Experts. That to me is proof we want private for our personal lives. Twitter isn’t my personal life but Facebook is.

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago
@Sean McGinnis @faybiz @mariongroup I had an email exchange with Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures (backer of Twitter, 4SQ, Tumblr etc) last year about Social network biz models. I asked him why Twitter or Facebook don’t focus on the comm platform and charge us for it. My point was Facebook 2 yrs ago could of charged $3 a month and if only 200mil accepted it would rank them 314 on the Fortune 500 and have $7b in revenues (notice how far behind they are from that). My reasoning is we pay so much for cell service and mobile web… Read more »
HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich @ThePaulSutton @danielnewmanUV That is why I haven’t asked you to be my friend on Facebook Sean. I want to keep loving you.

jwuchich
jwuchich
4 years 10 months ago

@ginidietrich Seen Matthew’s Story? Ur DAILY vote can help #makeadifference http://deck.ly/~tzfkM (link under video 2 vote) – pls RT! :)

JGoldsborough
JGoldsborough
4 years 10 months ago
@HowieSPM @Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich See, I think there is HUGE loyalty to Facebook. Because that is where people have built there circles of friends. Google may have a Circle of Friends feature, but I already have my circle created on Facebook. That’s where everybody is. People may use Google+ if it becomes a seamless part of the Google user experience. IOW, if it just makes sense to use it, is integrated into Gmail, etc. But I won’t be leaving Facebook anytime soon unless everyone else leaves. And 750 million people, including half the U.S. population, say Facebook is the place… Read more »
faybiz
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis @mariongroup @HowieSPM They do exist but are so functionally hard to use it is worthless. My only question becomes, can Google find a way around to integrate the outside services in such a way to make them eat it?

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM @faybiz @mariongroup Boy are we in agreement on the business model issue. I’d like nothing better than to see Twitter charge $3 a month. It would eliminate ALL spam. All of it. And those of us who find value as a communication platform would be happier – but others would lose out on a broader audience I suppose. Hadn’t thought of Facebook as another potential user of that model.

In general, I think we’re all far too infatuated with the “big numbers” associated with these “eyeballs”.

Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@JGoldsborough @HowieSPM @ginidietrich ++++++++ I agree completely. Facebook has HUGE loyalty for a number of reasons – first and foremost is that is where our networks live. The move into pics was huge for them. I now use it as my photo sharing platform (sorry Flickr, I still love you but facebook is where my parents are so we had to break up….)

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis @JGoldsborough @ginidietrich I disagree. We have loyalty to our friends not Facebook. Big difference. If all our friends left wouldn’t we?

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

@Sean McGinnis @faybiz @mariongroup I like to say to people and potential clients that we don’t get a free IPhone from Apple and service from ATT in exchange for having calls interrupted by ads. Charge for the service and then reinvest in the user experience. I get amazed at how much we pay for stuff sometimes. If Facebook charged $3/month and had 200 mil doing so they could toss all marketing out the window. That would put half the AdAge top 50 blogs out of business (maybe Mashable) and a bunch of agencies like Likeable and Vitrue instantly.

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

I’m hanging out here all day =P

DonovanGroupInc
DonovanGroupInc
4 years 10 months ago

Be interesting if this “takes hold” or simply goes the way of other attempts by Google to take on Facebook. This is a great summary BFF and definitely worth looking into further as you suggest re: videos. Am happy to already have you in my non-Google +Circle. :)

Lisa Gerber
4 years 10 months ago
@JGoldsborough @HowieSPM @ginidietrich Aside from making me decipher the IOW acronym, which I finally did, I think this may be the crux of the matter; getting the people to make the switch. Even if the cool kids and early adopters latch on to it, and really pump it up, it will take a long time for the mainstream to make the switch. FB may have 750 million people on it, but think about all the people you know IRL that still aren’t on it. And as @Sean McGinnis just said, our parents are only JUST figuring it out. Huge bell… Read more »
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Sean McGinnis
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM @faybiz @mariongroup yes but…..

The problem with that model is what happens to the developers. The in game ads and such are what create incentive for them to build. When they build, there is higher engagement and greater reason to stay on site longer.

Each model has its pluses and minuses. i suppose some of that could be done “in-house” at facebook given the new revenue stream, but trade-offs do exist.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM I have a brother like that. He’s so smart no one knows what the heck he’s saying. Mix that with no social skills and it can be a problem.

leedela
leedela
4 years 10 months ago

Lots of opinions on Google+ – good, bad and balanced. Here’s a rundown of what the top bloggers and publications (including this one) have to say about it http://leedela.com/2011/06/28/google-1-technopundits-weigh-in/

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM @Sean McGinnis @danielnewmanUV Note to self: Unfriend Dan on Facebook.

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