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Google+ is officially open to the general public. The social media war of the worlds is underway. Place your bets are you going with Google or Facebook who will prevail for total Internet supremacy? That may seem a little dramatic; yet this is significant – Google’s second attempt to launch a social media network is major. Google initially launched Orkut which only reached major popularity in India. This time around they’re not pulling any punches.
Is Timing On The Side Of Google+
The launch of Google+ could not have come at a better time. With millions of Facebook users upset about the recent and never ending updates and changes to the platform, Google is poised to attract users that are fed up with Facebook and ready to see what Google’s got to offer.
While Facebook loves change, Google has remained vigilant if you choose to compare the two behemoths in action. The recent Status and News Feed changes have created a buzz – and in protest millions of Facebook users have added photos and comments to their walls. Only time will tell if Google chooses to leverage the pain felt by so many Facebook users to jump start a migration to their social media platform.
Is Google+ An Alternative To Facebook?
Google+ definitely has several interesting and advanced features many may potentially overwhelm users. With kids, and great grandparents already on Facebook this could create a scenario were less could be more.
That being said, one of my favorite features offered on Google+ is Hangouts. Hangouts allow multiple people to gather in a public or private video chat and literally Hangout. This feature even allows YouTube video to be brought into a Hangout to add to the conversation and social nature of the network.
Google+ Hangouts allow for:
- Screen Sharing
- Collaborative Drawing Tools
- Niche Hangouts By Topic
- Works On Android Phones
While the war is on, unfortunately the only casualties will be users. Users are tired of all the change, let’s put this in perspective - imagine if your favorite restaurant changed their location every 90 days? Interesting huh, users are also tired of having some contacts on twitter, some on Facebook, some on linked in, and some on… Fill in the blank. Users are begging for familiarity, ease of use, and a community that makes sense to combine work and play, all while respecting their privacy.
Social Media Marketing on Facebook and Google+
Social Media has become an expected form of marketing and is recognized by the public and marketers alike. As a marketer you’d be crazy to not hedge your bets. Google has already shown you their true colors – by slapping the marketers who feed them. Google has shown its power and wrath on marketers paid campaigns by increasing prices and in some cases shutting accounts down without warning. Google has also closed AdSense accounts; put the lock down on content farms with their Google Panda update, and even without warning shut down users YouTube accounts.
Facebook isn’t innocent they’re also a gamble with their inconsistent ad approvals, shutting down of accounts without warning, and the upcoming changes to fan pages where they plan to make it harder for marketers to share their content. Ultimately no social networking platform is safe – because we as marketers don’t own or have any right to them, these platforms simply are not designed for us to be the major beneficiary. These platforms are for users – and we must maintain a positive level of respect for that fact, while at the same time have multiple strategies at work – otherwise your time, money, and effort building your social media network could vanish in the blink of an eye.