Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Growth of Google+ and Where It Can Go Next

Google+ has been growing rapidly, it seemed to me... but I had no hard data. Then this came along:

that shows G+ hitting 100mil users
Faster than any other social service
This is slightly misleading in a way. There's a sort of tipping point, now, where any social media, primarily-text-oriented posting system will immediately absorb a very large number of users once it becomes "significant enough" to warrant mirroring corporate, celebrity and brand posts from other services. This is why you see The White HouseHugh JackmanNASA, and the like on Google+. It's not that they're not on Facebook and Twitter, and in fact, most of their postings are mirrored to all of these services.

Still, Google+ is certainly growing rapidly. I find that posts I used to be able to comment on have now ballooned into massive post-fests in which any comment I might have will be drowned out, and as with any other social venue, I find myself searching for more and more restrictive subcultures in order to find a group of peers with whom I can converse in a meaningful way. The ability to share circles with specific people is a real win. That definitely makes the process easier.

I feel that the G+ niche is going to be the corporate outreach and community/ecosystem building space. Google is already using it this way, if you look at some of their recent posts:
They use the service to find and build communities around their technologies. This is exactly what every technology company wants to see happen to their products, but it's hard to take those first few steps, especially because, to marketing people, this tends to smell like losing control of the message, and that's a cardinal sin in their books.

It will be interesting to see if other organizations can build this kind of ecosystem using Google's tools...