Wed Jun, 2011 by Derek Mehraban
It’s been known to exist for a few months now and in the works for just over a year. Google+, Google’s attempt to mimic and displace FaceBook, has finally been unveiled. But only to a select few, for the moment. Rumors are that it looks a lot like FaceBook and functions much the same way. Here we will examine some of the differences and why the digital agency should be enthusiastic about its eventual implementation.
Google+ is not part of the Google Display Network. For now. That means what happens on Google+ will not influence which ads are seen when that same user is on a third party site. While this will draw applause from privacy enthusiasts, this will probably not last. FaceBook can make a killing on ads because of how much time people spend on FaceBook. Google’s ads make the money by displaying ads on third party sites. Unless Google+ supplants FaceBook, then it only makes sense Google+ will be used to help inform those third party ads. This would be great for the digital agency because it means the data driving ads would be better.
Google’s main competitor in the search game is Bing. One of the things Bing has going for it that Google does not is access to FaceBook’s social graph. It is highly unlikely Google will ever have this access, so Google+ will help Google create its own social graph. This is great news for the digital agencies because it means searches are better. It also means the ads on those search results are also better.
For now Google says there will not be advertising on Google+. Clearly, that is a decision that will not last. What is probably happening is that Google+ first needs users, and offering a social network devoid of ads is a better way of attracting them than one with ads.. When the ads come, however, the digital agency can expect them to be well rendered and targeted.
One of the key differences that all reports focus on is Google+’s use of Circles. Users can create different circles (friends, coworkers, family, etc..) and then flag different interactions for different circles. This change will improve on the FaceBook error of exposing information intended for friends to coworkers and potential employers. The reports so far are unanimously enthusiastic claiming that Circles works well.
Another feature that has beta testers excited is Google Hangout. Hangout creates ‘rooms’ where many people can videochat with each other. Compared to other videochat and videoconferencing sites, Lifehacker claims Google Hangout is easily the best of the offerings. This is substantial not only for the younger demographic but also for business settings.
Google+’s success would also help the digital agency by forcing FaceBook to make some changes. The changes could come with decreased costs or more innovation making the ads better investments.
The digital agency should be enthused for this new internet presence. Google’s history of innovation will surely make this a solid presence for FaceBook to contend with.