After a few weeks of Google+ envy, I received an invite from a colleague last week. The last thing I need is another social network to figure out but that’s the business we are in, right? So I logged in and started setting up my circles. Back to that in a minute.
We all know that the social media landscape is changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up. And as marketing professionals we have no choice but to check them all out. Think about how many networks/platforms you have created profiles for but never even used. Friendfeed ring a bell? And I still have no clue why I signed up for Plaxo. Right now, I have a nice little thing going between Facebook and Twitter. So the bar was set pretty high for Google+ to give me something that neither of these is.
Unfortunately, right now, they are not. On the outset Google+ is a cleaner version of Facebook. You can group your connections into tidy circles — friends, family, acquaintances, and those you are just following. There are no busy sidebars or ads. (Let’s take a bet on how long it takes for Adwords campaigns to show up.) But since Google+ is not open to the public, not a lot of people I know are part of it. As I was building my circles I felt like I was just duplicating my Facebook and Twitter connections. We all know the reason for Google+ – Google wants to do everything they can to keep you within their platform when you’re online. They want to create a one stop shop for email, chat, search and social networking.
Not everything that Google does turns to gold (i.e. Google Wave, Buzz). But I am sure they will do their best to give Facebook a run for their money. As a general consumer, I know I don’t have time for both. As a marketing professional, I will give it more time. Give me something different, make me feel even more efficient with my social media time and I will become a believer.